The ADS is a radar-activated obstruction lighting system designed to turn blinking lights atop wind turbines and tall towers on or off, based on the presence or absence of aircraft in the vicinity. According to Laufer Wind, this technology allows “lights out” for up to 98% of the night – significantly reducing a structure’s visual impact on surrounding communities.
Last month, the FAA published an updated Advisory Circular 70/7460-1L, which set forth standards for marking and lighting obstructions affecting the National Airspace System. The FAA added a new Chapter 14, introducing performance guidelines for radar-activated lighting technologies known as aircraft detection lighting systems (ADLS).
In a June 2014 demonstration at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Boulder, Colo., FAA researchers conducted flight tests against a Laufer Wind ADS installation configured to control lights on multiple wind turbines and a meteorological tower. An FAA technical note later confirmed that Laufer Wind’s ADS meets FAA requirements for ADLS. The company says it is the only vendor with an FAA technical note of this type.
Laufer Wind President Eric Laufer, an aeronautical engineer and pilot, conceived the technology several years ago when a wind project faced community opposition over lighting impacts.
He explains, “This has been an eight-year project of development and testing, and it serves as a model of how the public and private sectors can work cooperatively to the benefit of communities across the country.”