A Move in the Light Direction

June 11, 2020
Light up an airport with the RELIANCE Power ACE3.

Let there be light and planes, and people will find their way. ADB SAFEGATE has designed a RELIANCE Power ACE3 distributed control and monitoring solution that makes monitoring airport lighting easy. This universal device can be used to control any constant current regulator (CCR) or controlled element regardless of the manufacturer.

“The RELIANCE Power ACE3 provides better performance, easier maintenance and more functionality than previous distributed control products,” said Jeremy Matthews, ADB SAFEGATE, product manager. “The ACE3 boasts a full-color interactive touchscreen display, enhanced communication options and input/output expandability, providing major advancements in readability, monitoring and system flexibility.”

Advancements in technology allow the ACE3 to include a seven-inch color touchscreen, Matthews added. “This makes the interface easier to read and fully configurable by the user.”

The large screen size allows all the monitored readings to be displayed at once. The ACE3 offers customized views for monitoring energy use and the ability to configure the unit from the touchscreen instead of requiring a separate PC or laptop.

The ACE3 is the third generation ACE distributed control and monitoring unit (DCMU) with up to eight times more input/output capacity than the ACE2. ACE3 is compatible with any CCR manufacturer, backwards compatible with the ACE 1 and ACE2 and will also easily interface to or replace any Liberty Freedom Series DCMU.

Matthews recommends that any airport currently using the ACE1 or ACE2 should investigate replacing their current units to the ACE3. “This gives the airport the best capabilities and spare parts availability,” Matthews said.

First introduced in 2018, the ACE3 has since been installed at over 100 airports, including many hub airports. The ACE3 was designed to incorporate the best features of the ACE2 and the Liberty Freedom Series DCMU.

“The feedback we have received has been very positive,” Matthews noted.

The installation process is similar to previous generations of the ACE. The time it takes to incorporate the ACE3 depends on the application, whether integrating into an ADB SAFEGATE CCR or using a stand-alone wall mount combo box. These units then talk to the airfield lighting control network and execute remote lighting commands.

The ACE3 can connect to the airfield lighting control and monitoring system (ALCMS) using either serial or ethernet communication. According to Matthews the ACE3 can also communicate wirelessly, as a backup to the wired system.

The ACE3 unit comes with a failsafe functionality in the event of a communication failure and has multiple failsafe configurations. Failsafe settings are user configurable.

“Distributed control technology is more cost-effective and expandable than traditional centralized control, and has fewer components and interchangeable parts, making it easier to install and maintain,” Matthews said.

Matthews added by saying the ACE3 is very user friendly. The user interface is intuitive and easy to learn with minimal training. ADB SAFEGATE offers a user manual on their website that has instructions from safety precautions to installation, troubleshooting and helpful support.

With technology constantly evolving, ADB SAFEGATE spans the airside to help develop new intelligent solutions that can help make the aviation world a little easier. The ACE3 technology has many advantages like system expandability, the ease of maintenance requirements and troubleshooting.