Innovation That Matters

Land-DAR is designed as a simple device | Photo source Airtext

Airtext product to improve safety of small plane landings

Mobility & Transport

The app-controlled Land-DAR aims to provide accurate above-the-ground callouts and include specific information as to height above the runway

Spotted: American aviation tech company Airtext has released a laser altimeter for small aircraft to make approaching and landing safer. The app-controlled Land-DAR (Land Distance and Ranging) is configured through an iOS or Android app and calls out altitudes as the aircraft descends.

Conventional altimeters are not very precise and are distracting to read while touching down on a runway. This is why many pilots of prop planes rely on visual cues to gauge altitude. Unfortunately, these cues aren’t always reliable and even skilled older pilots can have problems because depth perception deteriorates with age. 

To help prevent accidents, Land-DAR is designed as a simple device consisting of a lidar unit that can be installed in a pressurised or unpressurised compartment, an interface module to connect to the aircraft’s audio system, and connecting wires. The entire device only weighs 397 grams.

Once installed, the Land-DAR is connected via Bluetooth to an app on an Apple or Android device. The user can then configure the mounting offset, setting volume, and desired callout altitudes, which can range from 152 to 1.5 m (500 to 5 ft). During use, the Land-DAR can also measure altitude 100 times per second and is not susceptible to 5G cellular network interference.

The Land-DAR is certified by the US FAA under the Non-Required Safety Enhancing Equipment (NORSEE) Part 23 aircraft approval.

Written By: Katrina Lane

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