Calif. Firm Tests Runway Debris Detector

CARLSBAD, Calif., June 12 (UPI) — A San Diego company says it has begun field testing a system that will detect potentially dangerous rocks and other debris on airport runways.

Trex Enterprises’ FOD (foreign object debris) Finder uses radio waves to find foreign objects that could potentially damage a fast-moving plane.


Airports currently rely on human observers to spot debris on often-busy runways. FOD Finder is mounted on a truck that also includes a vacuum system that quickly collects the litter.

FAA officials were at the McClellan-Palomar Airport north of San Diego to observe the tests, the North County Times reported Saturday.

Runway debris is no joke. A loose piece of junk was blamed for the fatal crippling a Concorde airliner in Paris in 2000, causing it to crash with all aboard.

Similar systems have been developed in Europe and Asia and use fixed sensors mounted on control towers and other buildings.

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Categorized | Buildings, Other
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