Systems for Continuous Friction Measuring and Early Ice Warning on Airport Runways
Sweden-based ASFT is the world’s leading developer and manufacturer of continuous friction measuring equipment (CFME), and is also a provider of cutting-edge ITS and road and runway weather information systems (RWISs).
ASFT develops and provides IT systems for surveying surface and weather conditions. Products include computerised technology for monitoring factors such as friction, freezing points, early ice warning-systems, precipitation, ground frost, ice deposit growth and camera-surveillance systems.
The technology is purpose built for stationary or mobile use; fixed information-systems provide continuous sampling of values and monitoring of changes over time. Whereas the vehicle-mounted sensors provide a mobile information centre, enabling complete coverage of an entire infrastructure to sense factors such as friction, pavement temperature, surface condition and surface-freezing point.
Continuous friction measuring equipment
ASFT is a world-leading manufacturer of different CFME. ASFT have, since 1991, manufactured the original Saab Surface Friction Tester (SFT). The history of ASFT’s friction tester dates back to the early 40s when the Swedish Road and Research Institute first started to work on the Mk I version.
Airport Surface Friction Tester (ASFT)
ASFT have since then taken the successful SFT concept and installed it into different host vehicles from Ford, Volvo, Skoda and Volkswagen. ASFT also offer T-5 and T-10 trailer friction testers to meet the demands of smaller airports.
All ASFT CFME’s are fully approved by FAA, Swedish CAA, MAK, UK CAA CAP683, and ICAO for unrestricted operation on aerodromes.
Rear-axle system for continuous friction measuring equipment
ASFT’s MK V rear-axle system, an extension of the highly effective MK II System, originally developed by the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI) and Saab, signals a landmark in the surface friction tester industry.
A smaller third wheel is attached to the rear axle by a transmission arm attached via a belt. The vertical force is controlled by a gas spring and has a guaranteed constant vertical pressure of 140k, and can be raised and lowered by a linear actuator.
ASFT is thereby the only manufacturer that offers a system without use of any oil and chains consequently offering its users an extremely clean working environment with minimal service. This unique design is also yielding measuring results with the highest repeatability and reproducibility in the industry.
New generation computer system for continuous friction measuring equipment
The new generation computer system draws upon all of ASFT’s knowledge and experience of friction testing, employing the latest technology, and allowing an easy, reliable and quick administration of the measuring results.
The principle objectives of ASFT’s new generation CFME are:
- Proven and reliable techniques as standard
- Ability to trace measurement results
- Operator authentication
- Global mapping service
- Ability to store geographical coordinates of results
- Remotely operated equipment
- Real-time viewing of measuring on digital map of airport
- Embedded Microsoft Windows operative system with touch-screen computer
- Open system to facilitate integration for sub-systems (plug and play)
Runway Weather Information System
Safety is the primary objective for most runways and roads all over the world. Using the right sensing and forecasting equipment enables you to plan proper and safer responses to varying road and runway conditions. Moreover, you will ease your environmental impact and reduce surface maintenance costs.
The ASFT Runway Weather Information System (RWIS) offers a range of services for roads, railways and airports, including weather and surface condition monitoring, warning and forecasting.
Our systems have been operational for more than 30 years, and have proven to be remarkably reliable, with low-maintenance requirements. Our open-system design and versatile platforms give you the flexibility for unlimited integration and future development.
Early warning signals save time, money and the environment because de-icing and snow removal is precisely targeted, more effective and less wasteful.
Early ice warning system for runways
The Frensor is a patented solution by ASFT Weather System for an exact detection of the freezing point temperature on any liquid. It was originally developed due to the desire by the Department of Transportation to optimise (minimise) the use of deicing on Swedish roads.
The Frensor actively heats and cools the fluid to determine the exact freezing point. Because of the active part of actually lowering the temperature of the sample while detecting a shift from liquid to solid state, it is independent of the de-icing chemical used. The correct freezing point is detected without special calibration, even if the fluid is contaminated with unknown chemicals. Compared with information on the ambient and road temperature a prediction can be made on when freezing will occur.
The Frensor can be installed as fixed sensor in the runway and road, or mounted as a mobile unit on a car or trailer, collecting freezing temperatures in real time along the airports infrastructure.
Gothenburg Landvetter airport, the second biggest airport in Sweden, is currently undergoing a major expansion to meet the increasing number of passengers and tourists.
The New Luanda International Airport being constructed in the northern Bengo municipality of the Luanda province, Angola, will serve as an alternative to the existing Quatro de Fevereiro International Airport.
ASFT has released a whitepaper on the Airport Technology website titled 'Systems for Continuous Friction and Early Ice Warning on Airport Runways.' When there is a risk for the friction on runways to drop below acceptable levels, the airport needs to establish the actual situation: fast