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Visual Guidance. Research and Development. Presented to: 33rd Annual Eastern Region Airport Conference By: Donald Gallagher, Program Manager Date: March 2010. Airport Safety Technology R&D. Wildlife Hazard Mitigation Program Hazards Management, Bird Detection Radar

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visual guidance

Visual Guidance

Research and Development

Presented to: 33rd Annual Eastern Region Airport Conference

By: Donald Gallagher, Program Manager

Date: March 2010

airport safety technology r d
Airport Safety Technology R&D

Wildlife Hazard Mitigation Program

Hazards Management, Bird Detection Radar

Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting Program (ARFF)

Agents, Vehicles

New Large Aircraft Program (NLA)

Airport Issues Concerning NLA

Airport Design Program

Airport Design

Airport Planning Program

Terminal Design Guidelines, Multimodal Access

Airport Surface Operations Program

Runway Friction, Soft Ground Arrestor System, Runway Deicing

Visual Guidance Program

Lighting, Marking, Signing

phasing out incandescent lamps
Phasing out Incandescent Lamps
  • The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007
    • Begins to phases out incandescent and halogen incandescent lamps in 2012
    • Department of Energy (DOE) within five years is mandated tocreate an LED replacement for the PAR Type 38 halogen light
        • Probably will not be compatible with MALSR voltage levels

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 is available at:

issues with implementing led technology
Issues with Implementing LED Technology

Claim: LEDs can not be seen as well as Incandescent lights in low visibility?

True or False?


Any source with the same Candela value can be seen the same in a given visibility.


perceived brightness
Perceived Brightness
  • There isa quantifiable“Brightness/Luminance” (B/L)conversion factor with LEDs.
      • Conversion to Incandescent:
        • Blue B/L = 1.4
        • White B/L = 1.6
        • Green B/L = 1.4
      • However, light scattered by Fogcandesaturate LED signal colors reducing or eliminating the brightness advantage.
issues with implementing led technology7
Issues with Implementing LED Technology

Incandescent & LED Lights at same intensity observed from 100 feet.

Observers noted that the Incandescent lost the GREEN appearance early.

issues with implementing led technology8
Issues with Implementing LED Technology

Incandescent & LED Lights at same intensity observed from 100 feet.

LED light still has GREEN appearance.

led applications issues
LED Applications Issues
  • Chromaticity Boundary for Aviation White
    • Preliminary results for Aviation White Chromaticity Boundary Changes:
      • Yellow boundary could be moved from x=.540 to.440 which will help limit confusion between white and yellow signal colors.
      • Blue boundary could be moved from x=.350 to.320 which will allow a more bluish white (CCT up to 6000 Kelvin) while not contributing to confusion between white and blue signal colors.
      • To match CIE S004for LED binning:
      • Green boundary y=0.150 + .640x to0.150 + .643x.
      • Purple boundary y=0.150 + .750x to0.150 + .757x.






led applications issues11
LED Applications Issues
  • Does the “narrow spectral band” of LED impact pilots with certain types of color deficient vision?
    • CIVIL AEROSPACE MEDICAL INSTITUTE (CAMI) and Airport Safety Technology R&D (AJP-6311) are currently conducting an evaluation on this issue sponsored by the Lighting Systems Office, AJW-46 and Office of Airport Safety and Standards, AAS-1
e lectrical i nfrastructure r esearch t eam eirt
Electrical Infrastructure Research Team (EIRT)

A team ofFAAandIndustryexperts formed to design an Airport Lighting Infrastructure to take full advantage of new lighting technologies.

e lectrical i nfrastructure r esearch t eam eirt13
Electrical Infrastructure Research Team (EIRT)
  • Goals
  • A system that promotes interoperability.
  • Reduced life cycle cost without dependence upon a single source.
  • A standards-based, robust architecture airfield lighting system.
e lectrical i nfrastructure r esearch t eam eirt14
Electrical Infrastructure Research Team (EIRT)
  • Held 4TH meeting in Atlantic City Nov. 2008.
  • Circuits considered so far:
    • 450 V, AC Parallel Circuit
    • 1.4 Amp, DC Series Circuit
    • 2.8 Amp, AC Series Circuit
    • PWM, DC Series Circuit
minimum intensity for incandescent runway guard lights rgl
Minimum intensity for Incandescent Runway Guard Lights (RGL)
  • Prior to 1996, the minimum luminous intensity requirement was 600 cd
    • Increased to 3000 cd based on results from 1996 study
  • Flash rate was also increased from 30 cycles per minute to 45-50 cycles per minute
    • Study looked at 30, 48 & 60 flashes per minute
elevated runway guard light evaluation ergl
Elevated Runway Guard Light Evaluation (ERGL)
  • Laboratory study completed 6/08.
    • Scope:
      • Min. intensity for Incandescent Lamps and LEDs
      • Recommendations forflash frequencyfor LEDsystem
      • Recommendations forduty cycle for LED system
      • Impact ofwaveform profile shape for LED system
  • It isnot recommendedthat the currentincandescent-basedERGL specificationbe changed.
  • LED ERGL intensities could bereduced.
  • These values can be obtained by a combination of a selecting asquare wavesignal,flash rate, andon-time percentage.
  • The best flash rates & on-time percentages were:

1.25 [email protected] 70%or2.50 [email protected]%

moving forward
Moving Forward

Prototype units are be built for field testing with the following features:

Asquare wavesignal.

Selectable flash rates & on-time percentages of 1.25 [email protected] 70%and2.50 [email protected]%.

1,000 candela.

Field testing to begin Spring 2010.

retro reflective media for marking materials
Retro-reflective Media for Marking Materials
  • 3 Tasks
  • Ground based testing of Type I, III, IV approved beads and 2 new beads:
    • Bead with dry-performing (1.7 IOR) and wet performing (2.3 IOR) microcrystalline ceramic beads embedded on a center core.
    • Bead with Premium (1.9 IOR) glass beads and a solid glass bead core.
  • Completed 12/09.
retro reflective media for marking materials23
Retro-reflective Media for Marking Materials
  • 3 Tasks (con’t)
  • Airborne test to determine the relative conspicuity of Type I and Type III retro-reflective beads. - Completed 12/09.
  • Airborne test of Type I and Type III beads installed side by side for direct comparison of conspicuity. Completed 12/09.
retro reflective media for marking materials24
Retro-reflective Media for Marking Materials
  • Findings – Ground Based
    • All retro reflective beads tested proved suitable for use on agedHot Mix Asphalt and aged Portland Cement Concrete.
    • Proposed new beads A and B proved suitable on agedHot Mix Asphalt and aged Portland Cement Concrete.
    • Paint marking materials and included beads do not perform well on new Hot Mix Asphalt as airports typically can not afford to wait the appropriate curing time.
retro reflective media for marking materials25
Retro-reflective Media for Marking Materials
  • Findings – Airborne
    • The majority of subjects involved in the tests at both ACY and SAV stated they do not use runway markings as a visual cue on approach to the runway at night.
    • The predominate visual cues they focus on during the approach to a runway are the runway lights.
    • All but one of the subjects reported no difference in ease of detection between Type I and Type III beaded markings.
automatic switching technologies for rwy centerline lights in a displaced threshold
Automatic Switching technologies for Rwy Centerline Lights in a Displaced Threshold
  • The FAA Advisory Circular AC 150/5340-30D “Design and Installation details for Airport Visual Aids” states:
        • “For displaced threshold areas over 700 feet (100m) in length and used for takeoffs, the centerline lights in the displaced areaare circuited separately from the centerline lights in the non-displaced runway areato permit turning “off”the centerline lightsin the displaced area during landing operations.”
  • TeterboroAirport has this issue on both ends of runway 1/19.
  • Air Traffic Control are indisposed to operating the interlock switch that manually controls the centerline lights.
project objectives
Project Objectives
  • Evaluate and determine the feasibility of using varied surveillance technologiesand safety logic to automate the activation/deactivationof RunwayCenterline Lightingin a displaced threshold to support takeoff/landing operations.
  • Install and optimize the preferred technology at Teterboro Airport (TEB)
proposed solution architecture





Field Lighting




Light Activation


Proposed Solution Architecture

Surveillance of the area of interest is derived from a surveillance device.Operational state of the trafficis estimated by the state machine.Light activation logic determines if centerline lights should be activated.Traffic and light states are shown on evaluation display.Light commands are sent to field lighting system.

general aviation
General Aviation
  • For non-part 139 airports
  • Lighting small airports that do not qualify for AIP funds.
    • “COMMUNITY SERVICE AIRPORT LIGHTING HANDBOOK” posted on Illuminating Engineering Societies Aviation Lighting Committee\'s (IESALC) web site.

holding position signs for runway approach areas
Holding Position Signs for Runway Approach Areas
  • ATO is in the process of revising their current procedure, which does not require pilots to obtain a specific clearance to crossthese holding positions.
  • In the revised procedures Pilots will now be required to obtain specific clearance to pass any holding position.
holding position signs for runway approach areas32
Holding Position Signs for Runway Approach Areas
  • The RSO has identified a potential risk of runway incursions due topilot confusion at the holding position marking and signs for a runway approach.
  • ATO would like toretain their current practice -therefore a different signage and/or marking may be required.

Standard Mandatory Sign

When Hold isRequired

15 - APCH


Sign changes Color

When Hold is Not Required

15 - APCH

Non-Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) Components on Performance of Certified OEM Lighting Systems
  • Scope of Work:
    • Purchase certified OEM lighting devices and non-OEM replacement components and subject the devices to certification tests.
    • Phase I:Individual componentsreplaced. – Completion 3/10.
    • Phase II:Components replaced in combination. – Completion 7/10.
Low-Cost Ground Surveillance

Specification Development



To enhance airport operations by improving safety, shared situational awareness & environmental impact, reducing airport operating costs

and improving capacity and resource utilization

The LCGS Project Scope

  • Develop FAA functional and operational standards for LCGS implementation that would support AIP eligibility for this system.
  • Provide the foundational capability to support other runway safety improvements (e.g. RWSL, dynamic stop bar automation, …).
  • Develop a cost-benefits case for the use of Low Cost Ground Surveillance Systems for airport operations.
lcgs challenge
LCGS Challenge
  • Of over 460 towered airports in the NAS only 35 of the larger airports have or are slated to receive comprehensive surface surveillance systems (i.e. ASDE-X).
  • Many of the excluded small to mid-sized airports have considerable surveillance needs that are not being met.
    • Surveillance capacity is limited to voice reporting and field of view
  • Many of today’s airports struggle with the challenge of improving operational efficiency and maximizing revenue growth opportunities.
lcgs high level concept
LCGS High Level Concept
  • The currentlydevelopedLCGS solution is centered on the use of a Surface Movement Radar (SMR) to monitor ground traffic movements.
  • SMR inherently presents some deficiencies (loss of target due to masking, plot clutter due to rain or grass reflection, flight label overlap, etc.) which renders the surveillance function less effective and could result in a lack of confidence in the system.
  • SMR technology is characterized by high maintenance and lifecycle costs.
lcgs high level concept41
LCGS High Level Concept
  • Researching existing technology the framework recommended for an LCGS system is the coupling of a network of non-cooperative (i.e. optical and thermal devices) sensors and a Mode S multilateration system.
  • This will provide the most flexible and modular framework for the smaller airports as multilateration systems can be easily adapted to smaller coverage areas with complex layouts and no vertical extension.
  • This network design would provide several levels of redundancy which would translate into continuous operational availability and coverage.
  • Concluded final preliminary study on strengths, limitations and cost effectiveness of prospective systems.
  • Conducting site visits to deployment locations of prospective systems.
  • Work in concert with the Advanced Technologies Development & Prototyping Group (AJP-67) at the three approved test sites of San Jose Airport (SJC), Long Beach Airport (LGB) and Manchester-Boston Regional Airport (MHT).

- Test candidate systems against predefined functional requirements.

- Evaluate operational feasibility of candidate systems.

Ground Vehicle Navigation System

Specification Development

  • Scope
    • Evaluate current technology, including by not necessarily limited to, GPS navigation devices for use in preventing runway incursions.
  • Provide recommendations for criteria for the design and operation of airport vehicle navigation systems defining both mandatory and optional features.
  • Provide cost estimates for the procurement of equipment.
group brainstorm session
Group Brainstorm Session

System CAN NOT… Give directions

  • ATC
  • Personal Airport Familiarization

Situational Awareness Tool

vertical flight

Final Approach & TakeOff (FATO) area

Heliport Approach Path Indicator (CHAPI)

Heliport Instrument Landing System (HILS) for IMC

Touchdown & Lift Off (TLOF) area

Heliport Approach Lighting System (HALS) for IMC

Vertical Flight

Current Facility

vertical flight51
Vertical Flight
  • Conducting photometric tests on products being sold as heliport perimeter lights.
    • Intensity
    • Beam spread
    • Chromaticity
  • Currently conducting flight test
      • To determine if a suitable candidate exists.
site selected
Site Selected

Cape May County Airport( KWWD)

Cape May County Airport

Delaware River Bay Authority

site selected53

Cape May County Airport( KWWD)

Site Selected

Runway 10/28 - 4,998 x 150 ft.

Runway 1/19 - 4,998 x 150 ft.

Cape May County Airport( KWWD)

new visual guidance technology test bed
New Visual Guidance Technology Test Bed
  • Will be conducted in three phases funded over a three year period.
  • Phase 1:
    • To be Completed:
      • Layout plan.
      • Schedule of installation.
      • Begin refurbishment of unused runway pavement.
      • Begin electrical infrastructure installation.
    • Currently developing an MOA with the Delaware River and Bay Authority (DRBA) for the use of Cape May Airport.

Questions or Comments?

[email protected] - Program Manager

[email protected] - Project Manager

[email protected] - Project Manager

[email protected] - Project Manager

FAA Technical Center

Airport Safety Technology R&D Section

AJP-6311, AAR-411, Building 296

Atlantic City International Airport, NJ 08405