Vancouver International Airport (YVR) will achieve another world first later this year when it deploys new cameras developed by QinetiQ to enhance its Tarsier runway debris detection system. This new addition will be a welcome addition to the Tarsier system, which uses millimeter-wave radar as its primary sensor, and has been operational at YVR for more than a year, providing the Airport Authority with 24-hour automated runway debris detection.

Tarsier is the world's first proven, fully-automated runway Foreign Object Debris (FOD) detection system and has been used at YVR since January 2007. Four radars scan the airport's north and south parallel runways, locating objects that could be drawn into engines or damage aircraft systems. A display unit in Vancouver Airport's Operations Centre provides the Airport Authority's operations team with an around-the-clock runway picture.

YVR's decision to purchase the camera enhancement to Tarsier will improve airport efficiency by allowing the remote visual verification of detected debris to ensure that airport assets are better deployed. The cameras will be cued automatically, allowing the operations team to get ‘eyes on’ with debris as soon as the system alarms.