Thales announced the formation of a strategic partnership with Xsight Systems Ltd. under which Thales will globally market Xsights FODetect debris detection systems.
FODetect is an advanced sensor and processing system which detects and characterizes foreign objects found on airport movement surfaces enabling the proactive removal of debris which poses a threat to aircraft, operations personnel and passengers. FOD, or Foreign Object Debris, includes aircraft parts, rocks, pavement pieces, garbage, ash, tools, catering items, luggage wheels and wildlife among many other objects. FOD are most commonly found at the airplane stand but occur on taxiways and runways as well. The system was designed from the start to target the airport FOD market taking into consideration the key challenges for deploying and operating systems at busy airports. A recent study estimates that routine damage from FOD results represent US$1.1 Bn in direct cost to airlines operating at the top 300 airports, excluding associated indirect costs and rare, but expensive, hull loss events. FODetect provides airports with the most advanced and effective system available today for continuous detection of runway and taxiway debris. A centralized data processing system detects debris, generates alerts and provides tools to investigate detections ensuring a rapid response to FOD events. FODetects unique distributed architecture leverages existing runway and taxiway infrastructure for power and communications. Small, rugged multisensor units, based on radar and electro-optic technology, are integrated with runway edge lights or installed close to the runway edge. Thales will market FODetect as a stand-alone system as well as integrated into its EUROCAT-S A-SMGCS processing and display system. EUROCAT-S is specifically designed to address the automation part of the A-SMGCS concept as described by the ICAO A-SMGCS manual. The central objective of the system is to support the safe, orderly and expeditious movement of aircraft and vehicles on an airport, under all circumstances, whatever the traffic density, visibility conditions and complexity of the airport layout. Alerts raised by FODetect can be presented directly to the controller on the EUROCAT-S controller working position enabling them to address FOD issues as part of their real-time decisionmaking. Paul Kahn, Vice President and Managing Director of Thaless Navigation and Airport Solutions Business Line, stated: We are delighted to partner with Xsight and market their advanced FOD detection system. FODetect complements our existing Airport Solutions portfolio and increases our ability to help customers improve airport safety and efficiency. The potential financial savings associated with elimination of FOD damage are enormous, states Alon Nitzan, CEO of Xsight Systems Ltd. Our partnership with Thales will enable to reach airports all around the world and push this innovative new technology into the marketplace faster.