FOD detection system for Seattle-Tacoma Airport

FOD Tacoma airport

The Port of Seattle is to provide implementation services for a comprehensive FOD detection system to be installed as part of a runway improvement project at Seattle-Tacoma airport.

FODThe contract was awarded, after professional evaluation by the Port, under the Continuous (FOD) Detection System contract.Varec Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Leidos, will serve as the prime contractor and Xsight Systems, Inc. will be the original equipment manufacturer provider of the FODetect® Solution. Varec, together with Xsight Systems, will provide installation design assistance, software and implementation services for installation, configuration, interface development, reporting and training.

This implementation of an automated FOD detection system at Seattle-Tacoma airport will be only the second automated FOD detection system that has been installed in a U.S. airport and that is fully operational.

FODetect is an automated FOD solution collocated with runway edge lights and is the most powerful solution available today to improve runway safety, operational efficiency and increase runway capacity. FODetect automatically and continuously scans operational areas and uses sophisticated image and radar processing algorithms to monitor runway conditions during day and night for FOD, wildlife and equipment status — even during inclement weather conditions.

The system automatically separates birds from other FOD types, and then automatically alerts the airport’s wildlife team in real time, day and night.  The upgraded product enables remote real-time auditory bird deterrence, completing the cycle of runway bird management. FODetect also alerts operators, characterizes objects, assists with safe clean-up and allows incident tracking. The system’s capabilities are based on a unique hybrid radar-optical sensing technology that utilizes optimized radar algorithms, advanced image processing software and close range detection for unprecedented performance.

FODetect is operational and protecting aircraft operations at Logan Airport in Boston, Tel Aviv Ben-Gurion International Airport and Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport. FODspot™ subsystem has been acquired by Paris’s Charles de Gaulle International Airport.

“The Port has selected the FODetect system to meet expanding operational demands for continuous monitoring for FOD at Seattle-Tacoma airport. It will enable viable sensing, identifying and locating at a previously unprecedented level of speed and accuracy for objects as small as an aircraft rivets,” said Leidos Group President, Larry Hill. “We’re proud to provide the Port the only solution available in the market that can automatically detect foreign object debris between runway movements.”

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