EMTEQ Develops Modulated Rotor Tip Light System Preliminary Design Concept for Phase I of U.S. DoD Small Business Innovation Research Program

EMTEQ is a leading innovator in aircraft exterior lights supplying over 18,000 aircraft exterior lighting units used on more than 30 rotary and fixed-wing aircraft.


New Berlin, WI, USA (March, 2011) – EMTEQ has developed a Modulated Rotor Tip Light (MRTL) system as the Phase I preliminary design concept for a U.S. Navy Small Business Innovative Research grant (SBIR).

Position lights for rotary-wing aircraft can be made more visible and effective by using rotor tip mounted lights. Similar to fixed-wing aircraft that use wing tip mounted lights; rotor tip mounted lights add increased lateral separation. By sequentially flashing the appropriate color LED tip light at the appropriate rotor positions of the rotating blade; red, green and white position lighting sector illumination can be achieved. EMTEQ is a leading innovator in aircraft exterior lights supplying over 18,000 aircraft exterior lighting units used on more than 30 rotary and fixed-wing aircraft.

The benefits of MRTL position lighting include greatly enhanced visibility as the tip light path appears to be long stripes of light rather than individual beacons; LED technology offers higher intensity light output in addition to minimal weight and installation footprint; and lateral separation between red and green lights can be as large as the rotor diameter, approximately five times larger than the fuselage width. A MRTL system can also contribute significantly to mission safety by making the rotor tip path highly visible to ground crews and shipboard personnel during taxi, takeoff, and landings and other aircraft during formation flights.

EMTEQ is currently validating design concepts in a dedicated testing facility and is striving for DoD SBIR Phase 2 approval later this year. Only those firms that were awarded Phase I contracts are eligible to participate in Phases II and III based on results of the Phase I effort and the scientific, technical, and commercial merit of the Phase II proposal. Phase II involves partnering with an OEM to fabricating a full-scale version of the system to demonstrate the applicability of the system. Phase III transitions to a flight-qualified technology that the small business may offer to aircraft manufacturers for incorporation in experimental and/or production aircraft.

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