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Airport Runway and Taxiway Monitor System

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000004503D
Publication Date: 2000-Dec-15
Document File: 2 page(s) / 33K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Airport safety is a growing problem around the world. Ever-increasing air travel results in heavy airport traffic, which is bogging down the existing infrastructure. Airport controllers are finding it difficult to manage airplane ground traffic as well as airborne aircraft. Most airports rely on visual tracking and ground radar to coordinate taxiing aircraft.

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Airport Runway and Taxiway Monitor System

Airport safety is a growing problem around the world. Ever-increasing air travel results in heavy airport traffic, which is bogging down the existing infrastructure. Airport controllers are finding it difficult to manage airplane ground traffic as well as airborne aircraft.

Most airports rely on visual tracking and ground radar to coordinate taxiing aircraft.

How to track aircraft on the ground when ground radar or visual tracking is unavailable?

Inevitably weather or uncontrollable situations occur that render ground radar and visual tracking to be unsuccessful. A back-up system that could locate aircraft in taxi lanes and runways would prove to be useful in emergency situations. What is needed is a way to track aircraft on the ground when ground radar or visual tracking is unavailable.

The present invention is a method and apparatus incorporating existing inductor coil vehicle detection technology for the monitoring of aircraft at various places on taxiways and runways. An inductive loop is simply a coil of wire embedded in the road's surface. To install the loop one lays the asphalt and then comes back and cuts a groove in the asphalt with a saw. The wire is laid in the groove and sealed with a rubbery compound. Inductive loops work by detecting a change of inductance. Therefore, when a large metal object, like an aircraft, passes over the coil a change in inductance is detected.

Figure 1 illustrates an inductor coil 110 embedded in a taxiway 120 and a runway 130. As an aircraft 140 taxis to take off, it passes over inductor coil 110, thus causing a change in the inductance. This inductance change is detected by electronics 150, which are electrically connected to a control tower 160, and thus displaying which taxiways 120 and runways 130 are occupied.