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FCC grants waiver to TREX to use restricted frequency to detect foreign debris on airport runways

FOD detector
from TREX

The Federal Communications Commission has issued a final rule that grants a waiver to TREX Enterprises Corp., of San Diego, CA, to use the restricted 78-81 GHz band when it operates its “foreign object debris” (FOD) detection radar equipment at U.S. airports, where such debris can be hazardous to airplanes landing and taking off.

“The presence of FOD on airport runways, taxiways, aprons, and ramps poses a significant threat to the safety of air travel,” explains the FCC in its final rule, which was published in the Federal Register on July 26. “FOD detection radar equipment will be authorized on a licenses basis.”

TREX has developed radar technology that meets the Federal Aviation Administration’s guidance and performance specifications. The 78-81 GHz band in which TREX’s radar operates is usually allocated on a primary basis to federal and non-federal astronomy and radiolocation systems.

Nonetheless, the FCC has decided to grant TREX a waiver in order to permit the certification, manufacture and licensing of its FOD detection radar equipment.

“FOD detection radar will be licensed on the condition that the main beamwidth of the antennas (azimuth or elevation) does not illuminate a public roadway near the airport,” says the FCC’s rule.

Further information is available from Tim McGuire, of the FCC, at 202-418-2155.



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