Friday, November 24, 2006

safer landing

Indian engineer invents device for safer landings

Friday, 24 November , 2006, 15:00

New Delhi: An Indian aeronautical engineer has invented a device that accurately measures the distance between an aircraft and the runway in adverse weather conditions, thus enabling pilots to make safer landings.

The instrument, built by Joseph Pichamuthu who was formerly with the National Aerospace Laboratories, helps a pilot make a safe landing even when the aircraft is directly facing the sun.

"As the visual range is not uniform when a pilot begins to make a landing while directly facing the sun, at times he suddenly sees the runway in front of him," Pichamuthu said.

Existing instruments use manual assessment of the meteorological optical range (MOR) to deduce the distance between the aircraft and the runway.

Pichamuthu's device incorporates the effects of anisotropic atmospheric brightness to quantify the reduction in visibilty of objects viewed in directions of high brightness.

"Minor modifications to existing instruments at airports would enable them to register true values of MOR and the runway visual range in a direction relevant to the pilot," he told PTI here.


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