A proposal led by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University to develop Daytona Beach International Airport into a model prototype of the airport of the future was recently passed by the Volusia County Council. Joining ERAU in the Teaching Airport Advanced Integrated Technology Project are Lockheed Martin, Transtech Airport Solutions Inc., ENSCO Inc., and Mosaic ATM.
“These multinational aerospace organizations would have a real-world operational airport where they could showcase new products and methodologies — including those that are security related — to other airports, airlines, and their government customers,” says John Metzner, an ERAU vice president. These organizations also could serve as anchor tenants in the research technology park that Embry-Riddle is planning to build next to the airport.
The team hopes to win an initial federal government grant of $7.5 million toward the estimated $30 million investment for the project, which will also be funded by industry contributions.
The system proposed for DAB would employ several kinds of technology: highly refined local area weather prediction; an advanced infrared Doppler radar system that detects and tracks wind hazards and aircraft wake vortices; a millimeter wave sensor that uses a mini-radar network to detect aircraft, ground vehicles, debris and wildlife; an optical identification sensor that reads aircraft tail numbers to aid aircraft location; and realistic three-dimensional graphical displays that create “virtual camera” effects.
“This system ensures complete situational awareness and control of all aspects of airport operations,” says Metzner. “The opportunities are endless with a system of this scope.”