Remote Airfield Lighting System
There are many remote airfields that are not connected to the power grid. Providing adequate lighting to these airfields is necessary and challenging. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has sponsored a research project, Remote Airfield Lighting Systems (RALS), through the Center for General Aviation Research (CGAR). The findings from the first phase of the RALS project specified a light that had low power needs and a color/intensity to meet the requirements for airfield identification and landing. To make these lights more appropriate to wide spread applications, the research team is conducting an exemplary operational test. In this new phase, we add new functions to these lights for the operational test, including both automatically/remotely switching on/off the lights and smart charging of the batteries using solar panels under the control of a microcontroller. In addition, we consider future new functions such as low cost pilot controlled lighting as well as wireless networking for health monitoring and controlling of the lighting system. These new functions can greatly improve the convenience of the usage of RALS while keeping the same low cost.
Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Dr. Liu has extensive experience in supervising student projects, such as the Green Plane project and the IEEE Student Robotics competition. In addition to his new-found research interest in power systems for hybrid electric aircraft, he is a digital system processing expert.