LAWRENCE, Kan. --
A personal tragedy has fueled a University of Kansas professor to build a cockpit alert system to prevent mid-air collisions.
"It's especially rewarding," said Ron Barrett-Gonzalez. "Two years ago, I had a friend who died in a mid-air collision."
The recent collision over the Hudson River in New York brought up some painful memories for Barrett-Gonzalez.
"I know there are nine grieving families right now," he said. "We hope to prevent future families from being in the same situation."
Barrett-Gonzalez and his KU team have built a new system that would alert pilots to dangers around them. The device, which would be installed in cockpits, involves a system that would alert the pilot of approaching aircraft by showing the approaching craft's bearing, distance and altitude on a computer screen.
If the aircraft are getting too close, an alarm would go off.
The system has been tested in the lab and now researchers are looking for the funding to take it airborne.
"Hopefully, this will be in general aviation aircraft so that it can save lives," Barrett-Gonzalez said.
The price for the system would be around $10,000, researchers said.
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