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LED Lighting Performance Testing

Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are used every day more in airfield lighting applications due to their potential benefits to pilots and airport operators. One major benefit is the potential to provide more reliable operations and reduce maintenance costs through longer useful life than incandescent lamps. LEDs could allow to save millions of dollars and the cost of change could be returned in only few years. However, airfield LED luminaires are relatively new and no sufficient long-term performance test results are currently available to validate their long-life potential.

The goal of the project is to gain an understanding of LED lighting performance under various ambient temperature conditions (with a focus on summer hot temperatures and winter cold temperatures) for LED fixtures embedded in various pavement types in an airport-like environment. The results of the project will be used to better estimate light output depreciation. 

a) OSU Airport; b) LED lighting system; c) LED light fixture equipped with thermocouple.

In particular, a test field will be developed at The Ohio State University Airport where LED fixtures will be installed on two different kinds of slabs: asphalt and PCC concrete. ECE students will be in charge of developing a data acquisition system that will collect temperature data from the LED fixtures and the slabs. As shown in the picture below, the data will be collected using a wired and wireless system to allow for redundancy. The data will be transmitted to a server, stored in a database and shown real-time through a webpage, Android and iOS apps.

a) Data Acquisition System; b) Website; c) iOS App.


Draft design of the test site that will be built at the OSU Airport (KOSU)

Project done in collaboration with:

FAA Technical Point of Contact (POC):
Don Gallagher

Ohio State University POCs:
Seth B. Young, Ph.D., AAE, CFI
Lisa Fiorentini, Ph.D.
Wladimiro Villarroel, Ph.D.

Iowa State University POC:
Halil Ceylan, Ph.D.

Texas A&M University POC:
Yunlong Zhang, Ph.D.


Project sponsored by:

Partnership to Enhance General Aviation Safety, Accessibility, and Sustainability (PEGASAS)
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
Center of Excellence (COE) for General Aviation