Airspace above the South West of the UK

Around the world airspace is divided into three-dimensional blocks, the classification of which determines flight rules which apply and minimum air traffic services which are provided.

Visualising these blocks helps to provide a sense of the relative altitudes of aircraft and the shapes and sizes of controlled airspace.

Airspace above the South West of the United Kingdom.

A high-level look at airspace above the South West of the United Kingdom.

A close look at airspace allocation near the South Coast.

A closer look at airspace allocation near the South Coast.

A preview of an interactive 3D model showing airspace above the South West of the UK.

About this project

The initial step in this project involved converting available geospatial data into a format that Houdini could work with. This was achieved using Swift scripting within Xcode.

Once into Houdini it was necessary to plot all of the blocks using their area, base and ceiling information. It became clear that in the UK, across five classes of airspace, there are a lot of these blocks to render.

To maintain realtime interactivity, it was determined that choosing a small section of the UK would show enough detail to visualise the concept yet still keep polygon counts usable. After iterative testing over a number of sections, an ideal result was achieved.

Airspace blocks over the UK.

View model in AR

Surface textures copyright Mapbox and OpenStreetMap.