Unobtrusive devices tucked away in control towers integrate and coordinate diverse plane guidance systems.
Runway configurations at the world’s largest airports are a maze of long runways, cross-traffic lanes, and complex sign and lighting systems. Helping pilots navigate and land planes amidst this complexity is The New Bedford Panoramex Corporation (NBP), which installs and maintains the lighting systems—and the system’s critical automation controllers—at many airports worldwide.
The company specializes in four alphabet-soup-acronym systems, and each performs specific functions in guiding pilots and planes safely from the air to the terminal. NBP installs ALSF, PAPI, RRCS and ICMS systems. An ALSF guides pilots in the air on the right path to the runway—and down it—with solid and flashing lights. PAPI lights indicate to pilots whether their glide path and altitude are ideal. An RRCS provides remote control and monitoring of field equipment and visual navigating aids, and an ICMS takes RRCS to another level for an airport’s “interlock systems” and their seamless operation.
NBP’s most widely deployed lighting control systems use programmable automation controllers and intelligent I/O systems from Opto 22. One advantage of Opto 22’s SNAP PAC automation controller is its flowchart-based programming, which can take much less time to customize than the “C” code programming of many embedded single-board controllers.