Statistically, if you want to avoid aircraft accidents, stay away from airports. Fortunately, at least for the runway-incursion portion of the problem, there’s a more practical option on the horizon from Amphitech International.
Building on its OASys 1852 technology, a Ka-band obstacle awareness radar, the Laval, Quebec company is proposing the Runway Incursion Detection Radar (RIDR). The product, which is still very much in the developmental stage, is expected to help aircraft operators avoid collisions with other aircraft, vehicles and obstacles on the airport surface.
According to Claude Letourneau, an engineer for the company, the system won’t be based on TCAS or require equipment outside of an aircraft. Coupled with GPS and a database, RIDR will display the entire airport layout and show your position and the location of any obstacles ahead. Letourneau said he anticipates the unit will be about 8- by 6 in. and mount in the nose of the aircraft. The targeted cost, with installation, is less than $130,000.