Stratech’s iFerret Patent Approved

Stratech Press Release:

Singapore, 19 May 2011 – Singapore Exchange Mainboard-listed Stratech Systems Limited (“Stratech” or “the Group”) today announced that its Singapore patent application for the iFerret™ Intelligent Airfield/Runway Surveillance and FOD (Foreign Object and Debris) Detection System has been approved by the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (“IPOS). Beyond Singapore, Stratech is seeking to protect its IP in iFerret™ with similar patent applications filed in countries worldwide.

Designed and developed in Singapore, Stratech’s iFerret™ is the world’s first Intelligent Vision-based FOD Detection System. Using Stratech’s Intelligent Vision software and state-of-the-art Electro-Optic (EO) Sensors, iFerret™ automatically detects, locates, classifies and records FOD in commercial airports and military airbases. Upon the detection of FOD, iFerret™ enables operators to zoom in on the subject for visual verification before sending a remote alert to ground crew to remove the FOD.

The cutting-edge iFerret™ is the approved Electro-Optical Detection System in the Advisory Circular (AC) No: 150/5220-24 on Airport Foreign Object Debris (FOD) Detection Equipment issued by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in September 2009, which has been adopted by airports around the world as the de-facto standard for FOD detection. Following this AC, US airports will be able to apply for government funding to procure FAA-approved FOD detection systems such as iFerret™. The two government funding schemes available to US airports are the Airport Improvement Program (AIP) and the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) Program.

The value proposition of iFerret™ goes beyond the runway. A FOD study by the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority revealed that although 50% of FOD damage occurred on the runways, the majority of FOD detected are located beyond the runways with the taxiways and other Air Operations Areas such as the apron accounting for 85% of FOD detected. With the world’s first taxiway installation at the Chicago O’Hare International Airport (USA) and the world’s inaugural apron deployment at Düsseldorf International Airport (Germany), iFerret™ is the only system in the market that can enable airports monitor not just runways, but also taxiways, aprons and other Air Operations Areas.

Runway visibility at night is paramount to airport operational safety. Despite the presence of airfield lighting, night operation remains a challenge to airports due to poor runway visibility under low light conditions. iFerret™ brings a breakthrough in alleviating this issue with its impressive night vision capability, which enables airport operators survey the runway. Furthermore, iFerret™ has also been proven to perform under extreme weather conditions, such as haze and heavy rainfall.

Another value proposition of iFerret™ is to provide airfield pavement condition monitoring. Aviation regulatory bodies advocate regular monitoring of pavement surfaces. For example, the FAA requires airports to conduct annual pavement inspections for certification purposes. iFerret™ enables real-time and automatic pavement condition monitoring. It has been proven to detect abnormal pavement conditions such as pavement cracks, tarmac potholes, pavement deterioration and snow accumulation.

“iFerret™ is the future of Airfield Safety and Surveillance,” says Dr. David K.M. Chew, Executive Chairman of Stratech. “The market potential of iFerret™ is tremendous. Not only will it bring significant contributions to commercial airports around the world, airbases will also benefit from the military version of iFerret™, which performs airfield Battle Damage Assessment.”

Source (Stratech Press Release page, download as PDF)

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