ESA title


  • ACTIVITYFeasibility Study
  • STATUSCompleted
  • THEMATIC AREAAviation, Transport & Logistics, Safety & Security

Objectives of the service

Hundred thousand of ULDs are moved and transported every day in airports. Most of them have old fashioned printed or Bar-Code labels and a lot of problems with misguidance will take place every day everywhere in the world. With STAP-ULD Watcher systems the monitoring, the tracking and the complete load- and unload process into an airplane are monitored, supervised and recorded – worldwide. Regarding actual IATA and ICAO rules STAP ULD Watcher delivers the date the professionals for ground handling an airport needs. Patented STAP technology will enable a permanent and 100% monitoring, indoor and outdoor and due to open protocol interfaces the STAP solution cooperates with all other Airport and logistics management systems which are available in the world.

Users and their needs

User and potential customers are all
  • ground handler
  • air cargo companies
  • airlines
  • airports
  • manufacturers of ULD and ULD handling systems

Main supporters and partners :

During the study we are supported by organizations from Austria, Germany, Portugal and Croatia.
Customers and final users will come from the whole world

Service/ system concept

STAP ULD-Watcher system uses positioning data from satellite and from local systems. It’s combining transponder data from the aircraft with other local available environment data from the airport. The core system which will be mounted in the ULD uses different sensors (temperature, moisture, shock, magnetic fields, radar etc.) for monitoring the ULD internally. A patented switching on/off technology which is available at STAP fulfils the technical aspects of the systems. Selecting the best of available communication structures and optimized energy consumption with energy harvesting technologies will round up the system and enables a universal use in all airports, worldwide.

Schematics of the STAP ULD-Watcher

Space Added Value

STAP ULD-Watcher has to operate worldwide. So integration of GNSS and SATCOM is obligatory as well as the combination with GSM and nearfield communication technologies.
Only a global satellite-communication system will fulfil all the needs in combination with terrestrial communication and positioning services to increase accuracy or to reduce power consumption. In addition Satellite positioning services will be needed as well as the global available satellite communication structures. The global communication structure on combination with the refined and fused positioning services will give the base of the system. The automated switching on- and off at airplane loading processes and the powerful sensors will fulfil IATA rules as well as they will enable cost reduced and optimized processes which will generate all the input for CDM- or logistic systems which are used in airports today.

Current Status

STAP has successfully completed the  study in May proving the technical and commercial feasibility of the proposed application. User requirements and system definition have been finalized as well as workshops with potential customers and relevant stakeholders have been held in the whole Europe. Use cases and in combination the follow up business cases have been  consolidated and several workshops have  held with partners in Europe. 

Prime Contractor(s)

Status Date

Updated: 04 May 2020