Parking a car on the crowded Farnborough site can tests the skills of even the best driver. Taxiing big aircraft around busy airports is just as challenging - and the bills are much bigger if you have a bump.

British technology company QinetiQ (Stand A19, Hall 1) is looking at ways of using its newly developed low-cost 3D cameras to help aircraft manoeuvre safely around ground obstacles like stanchions, boarding gates, vehicles and other aircraft.

The cameras can capture data from over a thousand individual points on an object, with a range accuracy of 0.25mm, across a wide field of view and at working ranges of between 200mm and 2m. Variants in development are expected to do even better, capturing data from almost 5,000 points at ranges of 5-10m.

 "Our cameras could be used to provide an invisible sensor field around the aircraft," says John Bannister, QinetiQ optical technologies business manager. "The pilots would then be advised if the aircraft came within close proximity of any potential obstacle, enabling them to take avoiding action."

Production cameras could be as small as 100mm3, with about a dozen being enough to provide an all-round field of view.



Source: Flight Daily News