University of Rhode Island Students Develop Runway Safety System

July 22, 2014

A group of University of Rhode Island engineering students has come up with device designed to prevent small airplanes from colliding on runways.

Their device attaches to the wingtip of a plane using suction cup. It uses ultrasonic sensors that set off out warning sounds and lights if the plane is in danger of clipping wings with another.

School officials tell The Times of Pawtucket the system was invented during a course that requires students to solve real-world problems with a reliable product.

The device, dubbed “The Wingman” won first prize last month at a national competition to improve airport operations sponsored by the Federal Aviation Administration.

The students tested the system at Quonset State Airport.

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