Saab Sensis Pushes Runway Hazard Detection Boundaries

By John Croft john.croft@aviationweek.com
Source: AWIN First
October 25, 2013
Credit: Paul Sadler/ Airservices Australia

Saab Sensis, best known for its radar-based runway safety tools, is broadening its portfolio to include system-level safety tools. “It’s a future growth area for us,” says Douglas Sweet, director of Saab Sensis advanced development.

Highlighting the evolution in the company’s role is a system verification and validation task with NASA’s Langley Research Center, as well as a three-year flight-critical systems research task order contract, also with Langley.

Research areas for Saab Sensis under the flight-critical systems contract include the development and systems analysis of airborne and ground-based systems critical to flight safety, air traffic management and control.

As part of the system verification and validation contract, the company also is focusing on new ways to determine the operational safety of highly automated, interactive systems that will be part of the FAA’s NextGen initiative, particularly where unmanned aircraft are involved. “If one aircraft is flying autonomously and another is not, and the autonomous aircraft has an equipment problem, how do you recover that aircraft back into the air traffic management system after you’ve addressed the problem?” asks Sweet. “You want to understand if your system can hold up to that.”

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