Category: iFerret

Stratech’s iFerret wins tender for installation at Hong Kong International Airport

Details of the sale can be found below in the press release. I would take some of it with a pinch of salt, the marketing department has clearly had quite a bit of influence over the press release.

“iFerret is indeed the future of airfield safety and security!”

I’m not sure one sale makes any product “the future” of any product category.

Singapore Exchange Mainboard listed Stratech Systems Limited (“Stratech”) is pleased to announce that its iFerret™ intelligent Airfield/Runway Surveillance and Foreign Object & Debris (FOD) Detection System has won in a tender for an Automated FOD Detection System at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA).

This was achieved in cooperation with Dah Chong Hong – Dragonair Airport GSE Service Ltd. (DAS), who was awarded two contracts with a total value of around HK$280 million (approximately US$36.88 million) by the Airport Authority of Hong Kong (AAHK) for (1) the Design, Supply and Installation of an Automated FOD Detection System (Electro-optical System); and (2) the Maintenance of the Automated FOD Detection System (Electro-optical System) for a period of 60 months, plus an option for a further 24 months. DAS is a joint venture between Dah Chong Hong (Motor Service Centre) Ltd. and Hong Kong Dragon Airlines Ltd.

Stratech Executive Chairman, Dr. David K.M. Chew, commented, “We are honoured that our state-of-the-art iFerret™ has been selected to be installed at Hong Kong International Airport, one of the prominent international airport hubs and home to one of the finest airlines in the world. In this tender, we have again clearly won over the other systems. iFerret™ is indeed the future of airfield safety and security!”

Source (Stratechsystems.com)

Stratech win contract to supply FOD detection system (iFerret) to Dubai International

From the press release:

Stratech Systems says its iFerret intelligent Airfield/Runway Surveillance and Foreign Object & Debris (FOD) Detection System has won in a tender for the Runway Debris Management System (RDMS) at Dubai International Airport in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The contract, awarded by Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects (DAEP), is for the installation of the iFerret intelligent Airfield/Runway Surveillance and Foreign Object & Debris (FOD) Detection System.

The company estimates that this project may contribute between $5.9 million to $10.6 million to its revenue in the current financial year and would have a material impact on its financial results.

This is surprising news, Dubai has had the Tarsier FOD detection system up and running for over 7 years.

The press release goes on to state:

Winning the Dubai Tender is significant because of the three systems approved by the FAA, the Stratech iFerret™ has beaten one and will be replacing the other.

Source (Press release)

If only the sales were as high as the hype!

An interesting article discussing Stratech (the makers of iFerret) and their expected revenue over the next FY. Full article here.

Currently, both iFerret and the security monitoring systems are contributing equally to revenue, Chew says, but the iFerret will eventually be far and away the largest contributor. By his reckoning, the market for FOD surveillance systems could be as large as US$51 billion, if just 2% of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) airports implement it. In fact, he is betting that, with the financing packages Stratech is providing, the iFerret will be as common in airports as photocopiers are in offices. â We want iFerret to be as pervasive as the photocopy machine. When it became a leasing business, every office could have a copy machine, he says.

Stratech signs MoU with Modern Times Technical Systems

Singapore Exchange Mainboard-listed Stratech Systems Limited has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Modern Times Technical Systems (MTTS) to market, sell, implement and support Stratech’s iFerret™ intelligent Airfield/Runway Surveillance and Foreign Object & Debris (FOD) Detection System to the international airports in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

See the full press release here.

Bayanat and Stratech team up on UAE runway safety

UAE-based Bayanat Airports Engineering and Supplies (BAES) has entered into a partnership with Stratech Systems Limited to supply its iFerret intelligent Airfield/Runway Surveillance and Foreign Object & Debris (FOD) Detection System in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). BAES will market, sell and deploy iFerret in the UAE market.

If the above announcement seems a little familiar, it’s because Bayanat struck the same deal with QinetiQ (the company behind the Tarsier system) back in May 2009. Bayanat no longer list QinetiQ  as a partner on their website.

You can view the full press release here.

Firms Vie for FAA FOD Detection Contract

A nice summary of the FAA and FOD detection appeared recently at Aviation International News, see the source article here, snippets below:

QinetiQ’s Tarsier uses a fairly powerful scanning radar, generally requiring two separate radars set back from the runway and overlapping to cover an 11,000-foot runway, as well as a slewable, military-grade camera for close target inspection. Recently, the UK company announced the integration of Tarsier with a runway and taxiway acoustic sensing system to warn of potential runway incursions.

The iFerret system from Singapore-based Stratech Systems typically uses eight non-radar “intelligent vision” electro-optic sensors alongside, but set back from, the runway. The sensors capture images in full HD quality, with a 70X zoom capability that allows swift visual assessment of FOD. The system’s software-controlled optics also compensate for changing ambient light levels to maintain daylight-like images in darkness.

The mobile FOD Finder, the system employed at Yuma, incorporates into one pallet a radar, radome, electronics, wireless data transfer and 360-degree zoom cameras, and is operable while moving in a half-ton truck. Surface-mounted FOD Finders can be rapidly linked to create a temporary or permanent fixed array along a runway. When the system is mobile, a powerful vacuum system can recover FOD while moving. The device is offered by San Diego-based Trex Industries.

The FOD detection system from Tel Aviv-based Xsight uses existing runway-edge light fixtures as mounting bases. A weatherproof above-ground unit holds scanning radar and zoom camera. Watertight electronic units, power and communication equipment contained in an underground chest support the mounting base. Runway cameras are individually slewed via consoles in the control tower. The system is deployed on dual runways at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International.

Source (AIN Online)

Stratech Patent

I’ve recently come across a new patent publication from Stratech, here’s the link.

I’ve not been through the whole patent in detail (the bits I read made me so angry I had to stop myself from reading the rest), but the small amount I’ve read, I would consider to be a little misleading, here are some examples

“While radar is an excellent means to detect metal objects, it is less sensitive in detecting non-metallic objects, such as rubber. Objects made of materials having poor radar signature (e.g. rubber) can cause major problems for such radar-based systems. Further, radar may not be relied upon for detecting smaller non-metallic objects.”

Yes, radar is less-sensitive to non-metallic objects, but I’ve been on a runway and seen a radar system detect a very small clump of grass.

“Further limitations include radar blind spots or shadows due to blockages caused by other objects or infrastructure.”

It’s true, radars cannot see through solid objects (another way to say that is that radars “detect solid objects”!),  visible (or thermal) cameras can also not see behind “objects or infrastructure”. I’m intrigued to see what technology they are using that enables them to see through solid objects!

“In addition, radar may trigger a false alarm by indicating a strong signal for signals reflected from even small metal objects that may not be so hazardous”

Say what now? is this actually trying to say that the ability to detect small metal objects is a bad thing? I’d like to know exactly which metal objects that are about to be sucked into my jet engine I should not be concerned with!

Anyway, that’s enough about radar, let’s move into the infra-red (the shorter wavelengths are far more interesting anyway).

“Some airports utilize infrared or thermal-imaging systems to detect objects, cracks voids etc. on a runway. However, systems employing infrared or thermal-imaging systems can only sense the infrared radiation (emitted from objects)….”

Really?, so there’s no infra-red energy reflected from objects by that tiny IR emitter in the sky we call the Sun? it’s all emitted?

“…..which is outside the thermal equilibrium of the surroundings i.e. a infrared or a thermal imaging system can only detect objects (e.g. a piece of warm metal debris on a cool runway) which have sufficient thermal contrast. Small objects which have poor thermal contrast may pose significant challenges for infrared / thermal imaging system”

again, reflected IR radiation from the Sun excludes some of these issues, but the emissivity of the objects is also a major factor, two objects of the same temperature can have a high IR contrast due to their different emissivities.

And let’s not forget, visible cameras also require contrast, it’s hard to see a loose piece of concrete on a runway which is made of concrete, they tend to be the same colour (and the same temperature, and have the same emissivity!)…….it would be no problem for a radar though :-)

Stratech Partners Punj Lloyd in India

Stratech has partnered with Punj Lloyd in India, see the press release below:

Singapore Exchange Mainboard-listed Stratech Systems Limited has entered into a partnership with Punj Lloyd Limited for its iFerret™ intelligent Airfield/Runway Surveillance and FOD (Foreign Object & Debris) Detection System in India.

Punj Lloyd, with over 20 years of experience, is a conglomerate boasting multi-billion dollar operations. It has over 31,000 employees in 21 countries, with operations spanning across the Middle East and Africa (MEA), Caspian, Asia Pacific, South Asia, Europe, and China. One of the Group’s companies, Sembawang Engineers & Constructors Pte. Ltd., is based in Singapore. Punj Lloyd  will market, sell and deploy iFerret™ in the Indian market.

FOD refers to articles or wildlife found on runways, taxiways or aprons that could potentially damage aircraft or cause injuries. An example is the fatal Air France Concorde jet crash in 2000, involving FOD, when 113 lives were lost. FOD also reportedly incurs an estimated US$4 billion in repair and maintenance costs annually, and up to US$13 billion per year including associated costs such as flight delays and cancellations, lost productivity and revenues, potential liabilities, and damaged reputation.

Approved by the US FAA (Federal Aviation Administration), iFerret™ is the world’s first intelligent Vision-based FOD detection system, providing real-time, automated FOD detection, location, classification and recording. It can be deployed in civil airports as well as military airbases, helping to prevent potential aircraft damage and fatalities caused by FOD. The airports it has been deployed include Changi International Airport in Singapore, Chicago O’Hare International Airport in the US and Düsseldorf International Airport in Germany.

On the collaboration, Stratech Executive Chairman, Dr David K.M. Chew, said, “Stratech is excited to work with such an established partner that befits this vast Indian market. The opportunities for civil and military aviation in this country are tremendous. With Punj Lloyd’s experience, network of contacts and reputation, we are confident of this partnership, and may even have the opportunity to extend the partnership to other parts of the world too.”

Speaking on this partnership, Raj Kumar Sharma, President – Defence said, “Indian airports have witnessed a spate of modernisation activities, bringing them at par with global infrastructure. With the deployment of iFerret™, Indian airports will further raise the bar for on ground safety, resulting in enhanced safety of their people and passengers, aircraft, increased operational efficiencies and cost savings for the Indian aerospace industry.”

Source (StratechSystems)

Stratech’s iFerret granted Buy American Waiver

During Dec 2010 the FAA announced that they would issue a Nationwide Buy American Waiver for the Trex Aviation Systems’ FOD Finder XF* and QinetiQ’s Tarsier FOD System (article). Today it’s the turn of the iFerret system from Stratech. Better late than never I guess.

Stratech’s iFerret™ Granted Buy American Waiver

Singapore, 7 May 2012 – Singapore Exchange Mainboard-listed Stratech Systems today announces that its iFerret™ intelligent Airfield/Runway Surveillance and FOD (Foreign Object & Debris) Detection System has been granted a Buy American Waiver by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration).

The Buy American Preferences regulations require purchases in AIP (Airport Improvement Program) funded projects to be produced in the U.S. The FAA however has the authority to waive the Buy American Preferences if certain conditions are met.

With the Waiver, iFerret™ is now officially on the FAA’s Buy American Conformance List1. As stated by the FAA, this is a list of equipment that is frequently used on AIP funded projects that meets the Buy American requirements or has been issued a Nationwide Waiver. The Nationwide Waiver will allow iFerret™ to be used on AIP funded projects without having to receive separate waivers for each project. This enables projects to start quickly, while still ensuring the funds used for airport projects are being directed to manufacturers that meet the Buy American requirements.

The AIP2 provides grants to qualifying airports for improvement projects that enhance airport safety, capacity, security and environmental concerns. iFerret™ had recently received FAA approval3, which is another significant development because airports that purchase FOD Detection Systems assessed by the FAA to be compliant with requirements are eligible for AIP grants. This Waiver ensures conformance with the Buy American Preferences—another requirement for AIP grants.

Stratech Executive Chairman, Dr David K.M. Chew, said, “The Buy American Waiver allows iFerret™ a good opportunity to establish itself in the vast U.S. market. This is another important milestone following the recent FAA accreditation.”

Source (Stratech website)

Stratech’s iFerret receives FAA approval

Hot on the heels of Tarsier and FOD Finder, the FAA report on iFerret is now available.

Here’s the abstract:

In 2008, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Airport Technology Research and Development Team conducted a performance assessment of the iFerret™, electro-optical, foreign object debris (FOD) detection system. This assessment included the system’s capability to detect objects of various shapes, sizes, and materials at all locations on the runway surface. The system’s capability to detect FOD during both nighttime and daytime conditions, in periods of sun, rain, mist, fog, and snow was also assessed.
A comprehensive performance assessment of the technology was demonstrated at the Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD). Installation of iFerret sensors was completed at ORD in late 2008, and extensive data collection was conducted from June 2009 through July 2010. These were supplemented by an assessment of an iFerret installation at Singapore’s Changi International Airport in May 2009. At the conclusion of the data collection process, the FAA had sufficient data to conclude the performance assessment. The iFerret FOD detection system was able to detect objects of various shapes, sizes, and materials on runway surfaces, taxiways, and aprons and was able to perform satisfactorily in nighttime, daytime, sun, rain, mist, fog, and snow conditions, as required by FAA Advisory Circular 150/5220-24, “Airport Foreign Object Debris (FOD) Detection Equipment.”

Download: Performance Assessment of an Electro-Optical-Based Foreign Object Debris Detection System

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