By Chris Connery
Supplier offers advice on selecting information display systems
As airports continue to enhance IT systems to maintain a competitive edge, this is made possible with renovations to facilities, including upgrades to Multi-Use Flight Information Displays (MUFIDS). Today, airports are exploring the potential MUFIDS have to maximize space, increase customer satisfaction, and generate new revenue opportunities. technology is designed not only to comply with environmental regulations, but also to help airports keep budgets in check.
To ensure the successful implementation and performance of MUFIDS, airports need to address a number of issues, beginning with design and layout, to customer requirements and core business objectives. Before making a significant investment in MUFIDS, airport executives need to consider the different technologies available.
By providing real-time updates of essential information, displays not only disseminate information but also help control the flow of traffic. In order to maximize available space, particularly in high traffic areas, MUFIDS should be integrated into the overall design of the airport and their positioning should be carefully planned to deliver optimal results.
Depending on the size and weight of the displays, airports will have different integration options. MUFIDS with a lightweight and streamlined design provide architects and planners with more airport design options.
LCDs (Liquid Crystal Displays), one relatively new option for larger format FIDS, can be readily incorporated into kiosks or inset into walls with minimal concern of product failure due to overheating because of their low power consumption. Keep in mind that regardless of the display technology, proper ventilation is always recommended.
RESEARCH THE TECHNOLOGY
Display technologies have different capabilities and limitations. As flight status information tends to be static, it is important to purchase a MUFID that can display information without suffering from burn-in. Ask about graphical requirements for the type of display technology being considered.
Plasma displays, for example, require continuous refreshing to prevent burn-in, which can result in permanent screen damage. LCD technology, on the other hand, is unaffected by this image retention problem, making it an attractive option when static pictures or text are continuously displayed for long periods of time.
When comparing the different technologies available, evaluate the brightness and contrast ratio of the displays in the context of the environment where they will be used in order to see their real-world performance. Contrast ratio is the proportion of the brightest and darkest areas of an image. Displays with a larger contrast ratio have a greater ability to show subtle color details and tolerate extraneous room light.
The specifications for different display technologies such as LCD, plasma and CRTs (Cathode Ray Tubes) are measured differently for contrast and brightness. For example, LCDs measure both factors according to the Video Electronics Standards Association standard, using a full white pattern to calculate brightness and comparing the difference between full screen white and full screen black in a dark room to evaluate contrast.
For plasma displays, the brightness is specified using a peak value rather than a typical value and contrast ratio is calculated as the difference between the small white area and the black area surrounding it as opposed to a full white pattern. Due to these different measurement standards which, based upon uniquely different core technologies, are both valid, such "paper" specifications are not reliable comparisons unless the methodologies for such measurements are fully understood.
Allows small airports and FBOs to create their own multi user flight information displays (MUFIDS).