Project of radio-controlled airport lights
On the request and in close cooperation with our customer, i.e. Solutions4GA, we developed smart, battery-powered airport lights, meeting the requirements specified by ICAO and the Civil Aviation Authority. The product is intended for use first of all at general aviation airports. The lighting, based on S4GA airport lamps, allows the night flights and increases the safety level during flight operations performed in reduced visibility.
Battery power ensures near month-long operation in standby mode. Highly efficient Cree LED diodes allowed achieving total lighting time of about 20 hours with full power. The lamps are produced in the white edge version and red/green threshold version. The lights can be switched on from the cockpit, using a radio station, with which every airplane is obligatorily equipped. Or, they can be turned on by means of cellular phone. The signal, whether it comes from the aircraft radio station, monitoring the frequency of specific airport, or from the GSM module, is processed by central unit and sent by radio to the lamps operating in the “mesh” network. The topology of the network ensures system redundancy, and therefore operational reliability in case of changing conditions and possible system failure. Due to this solution, the lamps can be spaced at a distance of more 100m, even with low-power transmitters and low-located antennas.
The construction enables the lamps to be used all year round. They are charged from the photovoltaic panel, so equipment can function without maintenance. Or, they can be charged from the power grid.
Thanks to the implemented algorithms, the system and each lamp individually can be remotely controlled by the typical short message service (SMS).
As part of the project, service software for the management of airport lamps was developed as well. It is used to change the configuration and to analyse the lamp operation. The application functions on Microsoft Windows computers and connects to the lamp communication module via the USB port. Communication with equipment starts automatically.
- setting the number of tested lamps
- changing the lighting mode (time, intensity and type: continuous, flash)
- detecting the lamps
- monitoring the turned-on lamps
- logging the lamp operation to the file