Braking Availability Tester – University of Waterloo, Region of Waterloo International Airport, Ontario Centres of Excellence, WestJet and Team Eagle partner to better understand the affect of airfield contaminant on aircraft braking performance.
Improving the understanding of the affect of contaminant, such as snow and ice, on aircraft braking performance is of keen interest to our industry stakeholders and they are working hard, together, to do something about this global challenge.
In 2010, University of Waterloo, Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) and Team Eagle partnered to work on translating some ideas into reality, by forming a three-year agreement to commit resources towards building a truck that could mimic how an aircraft braking system performs on a contaminated runway. The Aircraft Braking Availability Tester (BAT) was born one year later, in February 2011 and has been with the University ever since.
“Our first design and build turned out remarkably well and I certainly want to thank both the engineers from the University of Waterloo as well as the folks at Team Eagle” states project sponsor, Dr. Susan Tighe of the University of Waterloo.
“Although we’ve had and continue to have a learning curve to overcome, the data we’re collecting now has given us confidence that we’re on the right track. This year has been all about proof of concept and I feel strongly that we going to have our positive proof heading into the fall”.
The project team has grown to include key partners such as the Region of Waterloo International Airport and WestJet Airline. The Region of Waterloo International Airport has agreed to host the BAT vehicle on their runways during contaminated conditions to allow the collection of much needed, in situational data. WestJet has agreed, in confidence through an NDA with the University of Waterloo, to provide actual aircraft braking performance data from the same contaminated conditions measured by the BAT truck, to allow the University researchers and engineers to compare and contrast measured and actual results during winter 2011/12.
The Team also wants to recognize the efforts of Mr. Arnie Beck, a retired, experienced aircraft braking system engineer who has provided much assistance to the project thus far and is playing an important role in the Phase 2 redesign efforts.
The official Executive Summary (version #4) of this project is now available. Please contact the University of Waterloo http://www.civil.uwaterloo.ca/sltighe/or Team Eagle http://www.team-eagle.ca/braking-availability-tester/ for more information on this groundbreaking project.