Portable System Lights Up Alaska Strips


Few places have more need for night flying in bad weather than Alaska, and soon aircraft will be able to get into some of the state’s most remote airstrips in an emergency. Galaxy Litebeams LLC, of New Jersey, and Greatland Laser LLC, of Anchorage, are partners in a $1.4 million contract to provide portable emergency lighting systems to 42 emergency landing zones and seven runways at remote villages. That’s less than the cost of a single fixed-lighting system for many runways. All the gear fits on a trailer that can be pulled by something as small as a snowmobile or all-terrain vehicle. The laser gear marks out the landing areas by using the focused light to bounce off dust, smoke or precipitation in the air. The result is a clearly visible line that provides runway and taxiway markings. The lasers work in conjunction with battery-powered runway lights that can be deployed from the trailer to provide emergency runway lighting in minutes. The lights operate for eight hours on a single charge and the cold cathode light sources last for up to 40,000 hours.