Remote Airport Lighting SystemsIn association with the University of Alaska, Anchorage, the University of North Dakota, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, ERAU engineers have developed a highly innovative system for providing lighting at remote airport landing strips for the FAA Center of Excellence for General Aviation. Dr. Christopher Grant a Professor of Civil Engineering at ERAU and, with his co-investigators, has been researching more environmentally and economically friendly methods to improve night-time safety at small general aviation airports since 2005.
By using highly reliable LED lights and retro-reflective markers, the system developed through this research reduces energy consumption by approximately two-thirds, in addition to providing cost-savings and longer life-time, as compared to a more traditional incandescent bulb-based system. Currently priced at approximately $3,000, as compared to the $100,000 to $1 million for a standard FAA-approved lighting system, these portable units are a viable option for remote airports across the nation.
The need for a low-cost system is especially great in Alaska and international locations where remote airfields often provide a vital lifeline for local communities but do not have access to an electrical grid for a traditional FAA lighting system. These locations require alternative solutions for the safe landing of aircraft bearing emergency medical and other needed supplies.
Professor, Associate Dean of COE
Freshman Engineering and Civil Engineering
Prior to his post as the associate dean of the college of engineering, Dr. Grant was a professor of Civil Engineering. He has extensive experience with transportation and airport performance optimization.