Air Traffic Control System Design
Because StaticSmart’s ESD flooring is FAA compliant, our ESD flooring solved air traffic control issues with Control Access Units (CAUs) to help the United States Military in the Middle East combat unit failures caused by static electricity.
Each of the three Control Access Units (CAUs) in the tower controls a specific position vital to airfield management and safety. Using the CAUs, the controllers maintain constant contact with all individuals and vehicles on the airfield; on the ground and in the air. Loss of contact could lead to problems ranging from holdups in traffic, airfield collisions, or aircraft crashes.
These units (CAUs) are costly and in short supply, with requisitions for parts taking upwards of 45 to 60 days. The facility was replacing up to two units per month.
An investigation revealed that static electricity was causing unit failure in the control tower.
When the Air Traffic Controllers (ATCs) walked across the tower floor, a static charge built up on their bodies (walking body voltage). When the controllers touched the control heads, that static charge was transferred to the units, damaging the electronic components inside the CAUs and causing unit failure.
To solve the problem, ground plates were installed and the controllers were required to wear wrist straps. However, the wrist straps inhibited mobility, compromising the controller’s performance. A permanent, more user-friendly solution was needed.
StaticSmart’s DISCOVERY ECO Series carpet tile was the perfect solution.
Conductive fibers woven into each yarn bundle of the StaticSmart carpet create an infinite number of contact points, providing a fast path to ground, quickly and safely removing static charges. This exclusive Fiberlink construction provides uncompromising performance in any environment, regardless of temperature or humidity.
With StaticSmart ESD Carpet tile installed, no wrist straps are required, allowing the controllers unfettered mobility in the tower. Since installing StaticSmart ESD carpet in the control tower, not a single CAU has needed replacement.