- Pilot trial of iFerret™ system at Changi Airport yields encouraging results


Singapore, September 19, 2007 – A breakthrough IT system developed by mainboard-listed Stratech Systems is able to monitor airport runways for foreign objects and debris (FOD) to enhance safety, a recent pilot trial has found.

The pilot, conducted at Singapore Changi Airport, showed that the iFerret™ runway surveillance and FOD detection system was able to reliably detect foreign objects left on the runway surface down to 2cm in size from 300 metres away, under clear weather conditions.

The system also delivered impressive results under rainy conditions, being able to detect FOD as small as 4cm in size under 16mm/hr of rainfall.

The iFerret™ system also proved highly reliable under day and night conditions – underscoring its feasibility for round-the-clock runway FOD surveillance. In addition, iFerret™ was able to accurately identify FOD despite the presence of environmental factors such as aircraft movements, ambient lighting, rain, shadows or clouds.

With the system in place, airport personnel can monitor the presence of FOD in real-time under all kinds of weather and environmental conditions. Air traffic and ground operations control staff can visually assess the FOD identified on a remote screen display without having to physically visit the runway. They can then take immediate action to clear the FOD to ensure the safety and maintain the efficiency of airport operations.

Objects of various shapes, colours, materials and sizes – such as nuts, bolts, golf balls and paper cubes – were used in the trial, to test the system’s ability to detect and verify the presence of FOD.

The 15-month trial, which ended in July 2007, was jointly put together and funded by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), Stratech and The Enterprise Challenge (TEC). TEC, an initiative of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) of Singapore, provides funding for testing innovative ideas that can potentially improve the delivery of public services. It assists proposers who have innovative ideas to identify and provide suitable trial test-beds within the Public Service.

Mr Eric Lee, Head, TEC, said: “We are happy that iFerret™ has been successfully trial tested at the Singapore Changi Airport. This confirms for us yet again that it pays to nurture and support innovative ideas, to give them a chance of success!”

Dr. David K.M. Chew, Executive Chairman of Stratech, said: “Incidents arising from FOD on runways cost the aerospace industry an estimated US$4 billion in aircraft repairs, flight delays and airport maintenance every year. We designed iFerret™ for airports to provide safer, more efficient and better service, and the trial results give us tremendous leverage in marketing iFerret™ to the global market.”

Separately, based on the trial findings, the Center of Excellence in Airport Technology (CEAT) at the University of Illinois – a performing partner for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) R&D Center in the US – has made a recommendation for iFerret™ to undergo a full evaluation at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago. CEAT is currently coordinating testing with the Chicago Department of Aviation and Stratech.

An all-weather system, iFerret™ is the world’s first intelligent vision-based system that detects, analyses and identifies FOD in real-time. It can be scaled for airport runways and taxiways of any length, and can also be deployed on airport aprons, airport hangars and even aircraft carriers.

In 2006, the system was awarded TEC funding for trial testing at the Singapore Changi Airport, as well as the Research and Development prize at the Asia Pacific ICT Awards in Macao.


About Stratech Systems Limited (“Stratech”)

Stratech Systems Limited (“Stratech”) was listed on the Main Board of the Singapore Exchange in 2000. It is principally engaged in the design, development, integration, implementation, maintenance and project management of information technology and advanced technology systems. The Group delivers large-scale complex, real-time, mission critical systems in the areas of intelligent Vision, intelligent Transport Systems and e-Systems for governments and businesses.

In 2006, Stratech won the Research and Development prize for its intelligent Airfield/Runway Surveillance and Foreign Object and Debris (FOD) Detection System at the Asia Pacific ICT Awards. Stratech’s iFerret™ (a world’s first system to utilise intelligent Vision to detect and classify foreign object, with the ability to pinpoint the location of the foreign objects) was awarded The Enterprise Challenge (TEC) initiative by the Prime Minister’s Office of Singapore in 2006.

Founded in 1989, the Group has established an impressive track record serving industries such as aerospace and defence, financial services, government, healthcare, homeland security and transportation (air, sea and land). The Group develops and implements advanced technology solutions that achieve significant business transformation and competitive advantage for its clients.

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