Detect, Catalog, And Remove

The FOD Finder system consists of a millimeter band radar mounted on a vehicle to provide mobility. The system includes a radar sensor with video capture capabilities and on-board data processing controlled by a tablet PC, which serves as the interface with the user. The radar incorporates a 78-81 GHz sensor mounted on a reciprocating platform that allows scanning a field of approximately 80 degrees in front of the vehicle.

The antenna tilt is fixed in relation to the vehicle, scanning at the rate of 30 scans per minute and providing a detection distance in front of the vehicle of approximately 200 meters with a detection ‘cell’ of approximately 1 by 1 meters.

The system also features a high quality GPS that can be calibrated to reach near differential GPS accuracy and a photographic system that is coordinated with the system software to provide images of detected FOD. The user sets a detection rectangle in front of the vehicle manually and calibrates the GPS before a detection run. FOD detection is achieved as the vehicle is moving forward with speed variable up to approximately 30 mph.

A camera mounted to the roof of the cab is used to photograph retrieved FOD items. When FOD is retrieved and photographed in the vehicle, the system generates a label for the FOD item that includes date, time, and location in a bar code. FOD items are numbered sequentially in order of detection.

The display also includes a data table that requires user action to confirm the disposition of FOD items detected. Each photograph is stored with other FOD information in the on-board computer. The data table accumulates FOD item actions for a session, and when a session is complete, the data table automatically uploads to an internet-based data management system.

A.I.R. Boss

The A.I.R. Boss is a digital airfield management system and interactive part 139 airfield inspection system with additional features to help airport leadership manage trend analysis and safety risk assessments (SRM).

Lost revenue from aircraft fuel/oil spills can now be recovered with documentation and chain of custody from detailed photos and tracking data, says the company. The A.I.R. Boss can be incorporated in the FOD Finder and is also offered as a standalone product for some $199/month/unit on a three-year lease. View a video presentation at:

Says Trex COO Grant Bishop, “We are finding between 100,000 to 200,000 FOD items per airfield annually. This is a great deal more than anyone expected, but our efforts are reducing FOD damage as is being tracked in great detail by the U.S. military.”

During a 6 month evaluation with the USAF/USN/USMC, FOD damage dropped to zero at the test airfields. The FOD Finder can be obtained in a number of ways including a low cost $9000/month/unit lease through Key Bank and Wells Fargo.