Frangible Cables, Ladders and other Accessories for “ILS/GS Structures and other Non-visual Aids”

Period of Performance: 08/30/2012 - 08/29/2013


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Select Engineering Services
1544 N. Woodland Park Drive STE #310
Layton, UT 84041
Principal Investigator


ABSTRACT: Select Engineering Services (SES) has developed a composite Instrument Landing System (ILS) tower that improves sustainability (by eliminating costly maintenance) and increases airfield safety through a frangible design. Current ILS towers are made from steel components and require costly Mobile Depot Maintenance (MDM) to mitigate corrosion. The development of frangible structures has primarily focused on qualifying the frangibility of the structure itself, without regard to accompanying accessories and attachments that are also part of the system. The focus of this Phase II effort will be to design, develop, qualify and build electrical cables, a ladder system, and a lightning protection system that does not impact the frangible properties of the tower. SES s approach will be to develop and qualify the necessary accessories and components in order to conduct Formal Qualification Testing (FQT) on a full-scale tower with integrated accessories (e.g. cabling, lighting protection). SES will produce and deliver working prototypes of a pull-apart frangible power cable, pull-apart lightning protection down conductor, and an extendable ladder climbing solution ready for installation at any given site. This technology will provide a complete frangible ILS Tower solution that increases safety while decreasing maintenance costs. BENEFIT: Development of frangible cables, ladders and lightning protection systems (associated with airfield support structures) will increase airfield safety during airfield operations. In the event of an impact from a wayward aircraft, the frangible towers will give way and allow the safe operation of the aircraft. SES will develop several different products (frangible cables, ladders and lightning protection system) during this SBIR project, all of which will be specifically designed for use on frangible composite ILS Towers. The developed accessories and ladder system could potentially be applied to other frangible items such as approach lights, TACAN towers, street lighting poles, etc.