FOD, birds, snow – and the multi-task runway sensor

A good sensor can do multiple tasks with minor modifications.

What started as Israeli technology to detect foreign objects on runways is being given a new application every few months.

Xsight Systems has added another capability to its FODetect automated foreign object detection system: SnowWize, a new solution for snow depth measurement on airport runways.

The company says SnowWize will greatly improve safety during winter operations, replacing the existing manual methods of measuring snow with a measuring stick and a snow board.

SnowWize provides accurate and frequent reports on runway surface contamination – crucial information for every airport operations team. The integrated solution automatically measures snow levels across runways in real time without interrupting operations, alerting the team when levels exceed customised thresholds.

The proprietary technology uses an advanced measurement unit added to FODetect surface detection units, collocated with runway edge lights. The measurement unit uses an infrared laser beam and advanced image processing algorithms for accurate remote measurement.

Alon Nitzan, president and CEO of Xsight Systems, says SnowWize can markedly increase runway availability by minimising unnecessary runway closures.

In July Xsight Systems launched BirdWize, a runway detection enhancement to FODetect that allows airports to more effectively address, track and reduce ground-level avian-related issues.

BirdWize detects bird movement in real time, in inclement weather and in all light conditions – a major advantage as more than half of all bird activity on runways occurs in the night.

The sensor will soon be adapted to monitor hard landings and other runaway occurrences.

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One Response to FOD, birds, snow – and the multi-task runway sensor

  1. Jim Eviston 26 October, 2013 at 8:56 pm #

    I’m interested in the SnowWize system for measuring depth of snow. Can you supply details.

    Many thanks

    Jim Eviston

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