What is FODD? Varec's Foreign Object Debris Detection (FODD) solution is an automated system that provides continuous monitoring with high-resolution and high-speed detection of Foreign Object Debris (FOD) on critical Aircraft Operating Areas (AOA). At the center of the solution is a network of sensors, or surface detection units (SDUs), co-located with the runway edge lights. Each SDU reports to the FODD system that provides operators with FOD alerts, imagery, classification and reporting tools.
Why do I need it? The FODD system can also be enhanced to provide additional value for many operational teams across the airport. With the high volume of arriving and departing flights every day in airports around the world, an effective runway management solution that can provide comprehensive and reliable command of the runway and its surroundings is essential. Better management not only increases efficiency, enhances safety and improves security, but also saves airports and airlines countless hours in time, money, and manpower.
How does it detect FOD? Surface Detection Units (SDUs) continuously scan to provide complete runway surface evaluation every 60 seconds, fast enough to provide coverage between aircraft movements. Each SDU utilizes a combination of a millimeter-wave radar, high-resolution NIR-illuminated optic sensors, operator-initiated laser line generator, and proven advanced image processing. Together, these technologies enable viable sensing, identifying, and locating at a previously unprecedented level of speed and accuracy for objects as small as an aircraft rivet.
Can it reduce bird strikes? Varec’s FODD Software module uses information from the SDUs to automatically separate birds from other FOD types, and then automatically alerts the airport’s wildlife team in real time. An image of the bird, its size, and exact location are available to the operator so that action can be taken as needed. An operator-controlled audio system built into the sensors scares the bird away from the runway without harm, to the wildlife or the aircraft. FODD software also features a comprehensive reporting system that documents all events, which is useful for investigating behavior patterns or creating Wildlife Hazard Assessments.
Does it work during inclement weather? Combined Radar and Optics technology cuts through snow, rain or other harsh weather or low visibility conditions to provide rapid detection of objects between aircraft movements. The addition of an optional infrared laser beam to a SDU and advanced image processing algorithms used by the FODD software module combine to provide accurate, remote measurement of snow levels across a runway and calculate snow coverage percentage.
Can I see runway operations?
Using the HD camera, your operators can view the runway up close and then make informed decisions to raise runway availability. For example, they can view close-ups of landings and take-offs, inspect incidents as they unfold, or check operational status of airfield lighting or signage. With Varec’s FODD system, these types of command and control decisions can be made without disrupting runway activity, sacrificing safety or interrupting current runway operations - thus improving operational efficiency.