NobileSoft, a software company created by a helicopter pilot, has joined forces with independent research company Sintef to bring to market a new GPS-based powerline warning system for low-flying aircraft. Collisions often occur when aircraft fly at low levels on power- or pipeline patrols.
The Norwegian companies hope their new obstacle warning GPS system (OWGS) will soon replace the orange balls used as the mainstay method of alerting pilots to power line hazards. Those orange balls are often ineffective at night or in poor weather. The GPS solution would operate independent of weather conditions.
Sintef said in a news release that the steps needed to bring a commercial version of OWGS to market include “the acquisition, quality assurance and distribution of all the data now in the possession of the various ‘power grid owners’ distributed across Norway.”
NobileSoft believes this data, relating to geographical position, cables and their heights, is often inaccurate. Creating an accurate database is the key to the success of OWGS, it said.