The recently patented Aerial, Landing and Takeoff Aircraft Crash Avoidance System (ALTACAS) offers an update to current TCAS systems. It is designed to detect and monitor other aircraft, drones and vehicles at or near ground level in airports. By mounting multidirectional LIDAR housings on strategic areas of the plane such as the nose and wings, ALTACAS enables the plane to “see” other craft around itself. To monitor other craft, the system provides imagery and information about the oncoming vehicle’s distance, speed and direction.
ALTACAS is also designed to detect oncoming vehicles even when the other vehicle is not equipped with the system. This is especially useful for unmanned vehicles such as drones and ground objects such as trucks or even humans. It can also automatically open a three-way communication between both vehicles and the nearest air traffic controller when it senses an issue such as a potential collision. It also presents a possibility for greater visibility when landing or taking off at dusk, at night, or in inclement weather.