Obelux to install high-intensity LED obstacle lighting on 327m-high mast

A high-intensity LED lighting system will replace xenon lights in an aviation obstacle application in Tiirismaa, Finland.

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Digita Oy, a Finnish distributor of radio and television services, has contracted Obelux Oy to install an LED high-intensity obstacle light system on a broadcast mast in Tiirismaa, Finland. The mast is 327 meters high – the tallest in the country. The new LED lights will replace existing xenon lighting technology, which requires costly maintenance.
High-intensity LED obstacle lights

According to Helsinki-based Obelux, this aviation obstacle installation represents the first time LEDs have met the high-intensity output requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA), even though low-intensity and medium-intensity LEDs have been used in aviation applications for years.

“We are the first company in the world to design a high-intensity LED light system, and to deliver long lifetime LEDs on an exceptionally tall mast,” says Jyrki Sipinen, general manager, Obelux Oy.

“Thanks to LEDs, in the future, mast operators will not need to worry about spare parts and the maintenance costs of the lights, even on the tallest masts. We give the products [a] 5-year warranty and promise 10 years of reliable life without the fear of unplanned site visits and high maintenance costs,” says Sipinen.

“The low total life-cycle costs and long maintenance-free operations of the LED technology were critical selection criteria to us,” explains Jukka Kokkonen, system designer, Digita Oy. “And of course working with an experienced supplier who is able to build robust systems to withstand the extreme environmental conditions our broadcast mast is subjected to.”

The Tiirismaa mast has three levels where high-intensity lights will be installed: 100m, 200m, and 296m above the ground level. One medium-intensity light will be installed on top of the mast. On each level there will be three 120-degree-beam light heads, which in total cover the full 360 degrees as required by ICAO.

During the day the flashing white light has an effective intensity of 200,000 cd, and delivers a total of 120,000 lm. At night, the light is reduced to 2,000 cd, and twilight mode will give 20,000 cd.

On each level there is a light-head controller which takes care of the power supply, fault monitoring, and synchronization of the lights. A control panel, which is connected to every controller on all levels, is situated on the ground floor. The communication between all the devices happens through Ethernet cables.

“One of the goals in our designing process has been easy installation and plug-and-play –thinking. They are extremely important when working hundreds of meters above the ground level,” says Sipinen. “The Tiirismaa installation will be a major step in making high-intensity LED technology a new industry standard in the most demanding flight obstacle applications.”

The Tiirismaa installation will begin in August 2011.

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