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A multimodal sensor system for runway debris detection

  • Helmut Essen (a1), Wolfgang Koch (a2), Sebastian Hantscher (a1), Rüdiger Zimmermann (a1), Paul Warok (a1), Martin Schröder (a1), Marek Schikora (a2) and Goert Luedtke (a2)...


For foreign object detection on runways, highly sensitive radar sensors give the opportunity to detect even very small objects, metallic and non-metallic, also under adverse weather conditions. As it is desirable for airport applications to install only small but robust installations along the traffic areas, millimeter-wave radars offer the advantage of small antenna apertures and miniaturized system hardware. A 220-GHz radar was developed, which is capable to serve this application, if several of these are netted to cover the whole traffic area. Although under fortunate conditions the radar allows a classification or even an identification of the debris, the complete system design incorporates 3-D time-of-flight cameras for assistance in the identification process, which are also distributed along the traffic areas. The system approach further relies upon a change detection algorithm on the netted information to discriminate non-stationary alarms and reduce the false alarm ratio.


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Corresponding author: H. Essen Email:


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