By Anantha Krishnan M
Express News Service
Bangalore: Pilots at the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport in New Delhi, often engaged in fog-fight during take-offs and landings, will have some respite now. Drishti – a visibility measuring system – developed by a small group of scientists of Bangalore-based National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL), a premier institute under the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), have gone live at the IGI Airport from December 14.
Shyam Shetty, acting Director, NAL, confirmed to Express that two such systems have been installed at at the IGI Airport. “Drishti is a 30-meter baseline system, first of its kind installed at any airport in the country. It meets International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) stipulations. It is suitable for all categories of airports (CAT I, II & III), including CAT III B, where the pilots will have to land with low-visibility of 50 meters,” Shyam said.
Drishti has many features like electronic modulation of lamp intensity, real time embedded data acquisition with web-enabled software for remote health monitoring of the system. Similar equipment has been installed at the Amausi
Airport in Lucknow (CAT II Airport) and is operational for some time now.
The system has been issued now International Class I NOTAM (Notice to Air Man) at Delhi and Lucknow airports. Shubha V, Scientist G with NAL's Materials Science Division, lead a six-member team in developing the system at a fraction of the cost of imported ones. “This system is installed parallel (within 120 meters from the center of the runway) and it gives correct estimate of the visibility down to 25 meters which occurs during severe fog conditions," Shubha said.
As per an MoU between NAL and the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD),Drishti is now installed at Runway 11 and Runway 29 of the IGI Airport. “We are really satisfied with the system and have now placed order for another two more as a stand-by. Our technical team has given encouraging output,” a senior official with GMR's customer relations at the IGI said. The IMD is said to have done the land-line communication from the runway to Air Traffic Control.
Drishti – an idea that took birth on CSIR Foundation Day (September 26)in 2007, got on to field trials at NAL in January 2008 and airport trials at Cochin International Airport Limited in 2008 June.
(Copyright@The New Indian Express)