Upgrade For Vancouver’s Tarsier System

Vancouver International Airport (YVR) has become the first commercial airport in the world to install a day and night camera to its existing Tarsier Foreign Object Debris (FOD) radar detection system.  This will upgrade its 24-hour automated runway debris detection system in all weather conditions by providing visual confirmation of any potentially dangerous objects on the runway.  Tarsier’s high-resolution radar and advanced day and night camera work in tandem to provide continuous runway monitoring and safety.  The camera’s illuminator helps produce FOD images in all light levels.
“The system allows us to determine quickly whether the FOD is a two-inch worm that poses no threat, or a broken zipper from a suitcase that does,” said Brett Patterson, Director, Airside Operations, Vancouver Airport Authority.
FOD as small and seemingly innocuous as a bolt, a discarded plastic bag or a shell dropped by a bird on the runway can cause serious damage to aircraft and poses a potential safety risk.  Each year, loose objects on airport runways, taxiways and aprons cost the global aviation industry an estimated $12 billion.