Warning System Might Curb Obstacle Collisions

  • E-Mail this Article
  • View Printable Article
  • Text size:

    • A
    • A
    • A

Two Norwegian pilots have developed a system to warn pilots if theyíre on a collision course with obstacles like cell towers, wind turbines, radio masts or just about any other thing that sticks up in the air. The difference with this system is that itís the obstacle itself that broadcasts the warning and thereís no need for additional equipment on the airplane to receive it. According to the Innovations Report, pilots Rolf Bakken and Morten Mork came up with the idea in 1999 and worked with SINTEF to develop it. The heart of the system is smart radar that can tell if an aircraft is on a collision course with an obstacle. The radar is part of a technology bundle that is installed on the obstacle. If the radar spots an airplane moving its way, it activates powerful warning lights mounted on the obstacle when the aircraft is 30 seconds from impact. If the lights donít get the pilotís attention, at 20 seconds out a warning signal is broadcast on all VHF aviation radio frequencies. There was no mention of the cost of each system.