Posted date: 1 March 2008
Stratech Systems (http://www.stratechsystems.com/) has announced that the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) will deploy its iFerret Runway Surveillance System, in the first commercial implementation of the award-winning solution.
|Foreign object damage poses a perennial hazard to aircraft operations and passenger safety.|
The iFerret system, which detects, identifies, tracks and displays foreign objects in real-time, will be deployed on Runways 1 and 2 at Singapore's Changi Airport. As part of the deal, which is valued at over S$12 million, Stratech will customise the system to Changi Airport's requirements and perform system maintenance and upgrades.
Foreign object damage (FOD) poses a perennial hazard to aircraft operations and passenger safety. It is estimated that aircraft repairs, flight delays and airport maintenance stemming from FOD cost the global aerospace industry about US$4 billion a year.
"The prevention of FOD incidents has always been a priority at Changi Airport. For example, the frequency of our runway inspections already exceeds guidelines set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation," said Mr Lim Kim Choon, Director-General and Chief Executive Officer of CAAS. "iFerret will enable us to automate these inspections and set even higher standards in operational efficiency and passenger safety," he added.
An all-weather automated system, it is the first of its kind to be based on intelligent-Vision, a form of artificial intelligence that enables machines to "see" in real-time, providing the means for critical-decision support. The system was awarded the Research and Development prize at the Asia Pacific Information and Communications Technology Awards in Macau in 2006.
iFerret can be scaled for airport runways and taxiways of any length, and can also be deployed on airport aprons, airport hangars and even aircraft carriers. CAAS awarded the contract to Stratech following a 15-month pilot trial conducted at Changi Airport.
Dr David Chew, Executive Chairman of Stratech, said, "iFerret represents cutting edge runway surveillance technology, and we hope that it will pave the way for improved safety standards at airports worldwide."
Commenting on the Changi Airport deployment, he said, "The deployment of iFerret at one of the world's best airports is testament to its capabilities, and is in line with our 'powered by Stratech' strategy to commercialise the company’s intellectual property."
iFerret has also been recommended for evaluation at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, by the Centre of Excellence in Airport Technology at the University of Illinois, a performing partner for the Federal Aviation Administration R&D Centre in the United States.
ntelligent Airfield/Runway Surveillance and FOD (Foreign Object & Debris) Detection System
Incidents arising from Foreign Objects & Debris (FOD) on runways cost the aviation industry US$4 billion in aircraft repairs and maintenance annually. Flight delays and accident claims add to the cost. FOD includes a wide range of materials, such as a part fallen off from an aircraft, a detached runway light fitting, building materials, rocks and even wildlife. The Air France Concorde crash in July 2000, which claimed 113 lives, reinforces the need for real-time, automated FOD detection.
Currently, airports conduct daily manual runway sweeps to remove FOD. This tedious and error-prone process can be automated through iFerret™ - the world’s first intelligent vision-based FOD detection system. iFerret™ is designed to detect and classify foreign objects, as well as pinpoint their location. This revolutionary system features self-calibrating cameras, automated scene analysis and configurable scan resolution for different object sizes. Providing continuous runway inspection in-between flights, it facilitates rapid recovery response through accurate assessment and real-time alert for FOD, bird strike condition, and even battle damage surveillance.
iFerret™ has won the R&D prize at the Asia Pacific ICT Awards (APICTA) 2006 . It was also awarded The Enterprise Challenge (TEC) Initiative by the Prime Minister’s Office of Singapore.
TOTAL Airfield Surveillance & FOD Detection System
- Automated Surveillance for FOD
- Wide area scanning of FOD using remotely placed electro-optic sensors
- Continuous surveillance of runway
- Automated, 24x7 all-weather operations
- Operational at night without assisted illumination
- Built-in redundancy for continuous detection
- FOD Detection
- Detect, identify and locate FOD in real-time
- Proven to detect very small object down to 2cm
- Detect FOD of various sizes, shapes, materials and colours
- Visual View
- Rich visual assessment of detected FOD
- Zoom-in view to confirm FOD presence
- User-directed view for visual verification
- FOD Recovery
- Classification of FOD alerts to prioritise clearance
- Pin-point exact location (< 1 m accuracy)
- Real-time alert with text and image to enable rapid recovery
- Scalable for runways and taxiways of any length
- Deployable in all FOD-prone environments such as runways, taxiways, aprons, aircraft hangars and even on aircraft carrier flight decks
- Applicable for both commercial airports and military airbases
- Battle Damage Assessment
- Deployable for detecting and locating runway/airfield damage such as potholes and craters
- During war time, can be used for runway/airfield battle damage assessment and detection as well as location for unexploded ordnances
- Post Event Analysis
- Record and playback for post-event analysis/investigation
- Comprehensive reporting functions
- Step 1: Dedicated Inspection
Dedicated electro-optic sensors monitor defined areas of runway sectors continuously.
- Step 2: FOD Dectection
iFerret™ processes electro-optic images to detect FOD in real-time.
- Step 3: Real-time Alert
Audio and video alert with location information.
- Step 4: Visual Verification
Zoom-in view of detected FOD for visual verification.
- Step 5: Remote Alert
Remote alert to mobile devices with text and/or image details.
- Step 6: Recovery Dispatch
Rapid recovery of FOD.
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