Sea-Tac Airport Becomes Second in U.S. to Install Runway Debris Safety Detectors

Published on : Friday, November 27, 2015

Port of SeattleSafety on the runway is expected to improve with the installation of advanced automated technology that will ‘see’ potential dangers even at night at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. The Port of Seattle is completing reconstruction of the center runway (16C/34C) which will also include making Sea-Tac only the second airport in the country to have a Foreign Object Debris (FOD) detection system and the first in the world to integrate detection of wildlife hazards into the system.
Damage to aircraft and engines by FOD is estimated to cost the aerospace industry over $4 billion each year. The FODetect technology will provide real-time alerts day and night with sophisticated image and radar to automatically alert for FOD, which can be as simple as a metal bolt or a piece of a broken wheel hub.

“FOD on the airport runway has the potential to create damage to aircraft and engines during the critical phases of flight, during takeoff and landing, creating a threat to safe travel,” said Mike Ehl, Director of Operations and Customer Service at Sea-Tac Airport. “This new system takes the next step to continuously monitor the runway for potential safety hazards so we can remove the debris in real-time rather than rely soely on physical inspections.”

FODetect automatically and continuously scans operational areas and uses sophisticated image and radar processing algorithms to monitor runway conditions during day and night for FOD and wildlife – even during inclement weather conditions.

“The FODetect system represents the best approach to meeting expanding operational demands for continuous monitoring for FOD at Sea-Tac airport,” said Leidos Program Manager, George Thuemling. “It will enable viable sensing, identifying and locating at a previously unprecedented level of speed and accuracy for objects as small as an aircraft rivets.”
“We are honored to work with Sea-Tac to enhance runway safety by scanning the runway in between runway operations,” said Alon Nitzan, President & CEO of Xsight Systems. “Airport operators can get a first row seat on what’s happening on their runway using our technology, and this is a paradigm change in the aviation world.”

Additionally, the system automatically separates birds from other FOD types, and then alerts the airport’s wildlife team in real time, day and night. The upgraded product enables remote real-time auditory bird deterrence, completing the cycle of runway bird management. FODetect also alerts operators, characterizes objects, assists with safe clean-up and allows incident tracking.

Varec Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Leidos, is the prime contractor for the project and Xsight Systems, Inc. is the original equipment manufacturer provider of the FODetect® Solution. The system’s capabilities are based on a unique hybrid radar-optical sensing technology that utilizes optimized radar algorithms, advanced image processing software and close range detection for unprecedented performance.


Source:- Port Of Seattle


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