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Optical Engineering

Beacon system based on light-emitting diode sources for runways lighting
Author(s): Mario Gonzalez Montes; Daniel Vázquez; Antonio A. Fernandez-Balbuena; Eusebio Bernabeu
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Paper Abstract

New aeronautical ground lighting techniques are becoming increasingly important to ensure the safety and reduce the maintenance costs of the plane’s tracks. Until recently, tracks had embedded lighting systems whose sources were based on incandescent lamps. But incandescent lamps have several disadvantages: high energy consumption and frequent breakdowns that result in high maintenance costs (lamp average life-time is ∼1500 operating hours) and the lamp’s technology has a lack of new lighting functions, such as signal handling and modification. To solve these problems, the industry has developed systems based on light-emitting diode (LED) technology with improved features: (1) LED lighting consumes one tenth the power, (2) it improves preventive maintenance (an LED’s lifetime range is between 25,000 and 100,000 hours), and (3) LED lighting technology can be controlled remotely according to the needs of the track configuration. LEDs have been in use for more than three decades, but only recently, around 2002, have they begun to be used as visual aids, representing the greatest potential change for airport lighting since their inception in the 1920s. Currently, embedded LED systems are not being broadly used due to the specific constraints of the rules and regulations of airports (beacon dimensions, power system technology, etc.). The fundamental requirements applied to embedded lighting systems are to be hosted on a volume where the dimensions are usually critical and also to integrate all the essential components for operation. An embedded architecture that meets the lighting regulations for airport runways is presented. The present work is divided into three main tasks: development of an optical system to optimize lighting according to International Civil Aviation Organization, manufacturing prototype, and model validation.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 June 2014
PDF: 8 pages
Opt. Eng. 53(6) 066104 doi: 10.1117/1.OE.53.6.066104
Published in: Optical Engineering Volume 53, Issue 6
Show Author Affiliations
Mario Gonzalez Montes, Univ. Complutense de Madrid (Spain)
Daniel Vázquez, Univ. Complutense de Madrid (Spain)
Antonio A. Fernandez-Balbuena, Univ. Complutense de Madrid (Spain)
Eusebio Bernabeu, Univ. Complutense de Madrid (Spain)

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