Wake-Vortex Detector To Be Tested In Denver

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Flight Safety Technologies (FST), of Mystic, Conn., said this week it will test its Socrates Wake Vortex Detection and Tracking technology at the Denver International Airport this summer. The patented detection system projects low-power laser beams across a given space onto a reflector device, which reflects the beams back to a receiver. The Socrates system then measures changes in the laser beams, which reveal the existence of turbulence. The Socrates test is scheduled to start on August 18, and testing is planned to continue through mid-September. FST says the system has the potential to provide pilots with advance warning of the nature and location of wake vortices. The system also could increase runway capacity, FST says, because air traffic controllers could monitor wake dissipation and sequence aircraft more efficiently. Partners and participants in the technology and its testing include Lockheed/Martin, NASA, the DOT Volpe National Transportation Systems Center and the German Aerospace Center.