Indiana Patent of the Month – August 2021

Helicopters or strictly vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircrafts land along helipads – small landing pads that support the minimal travel space needed to take off and land. The size is dependent on rotor diameter and length of the helicopter. Perimeters are lined with omni-directional safety lights that offer both guide and warning functions. Other lights are planted to act as landing direction lights, taxiway lights and heliport approach path indicator lights. The pilot must consider all of these lights, directing their attention to lighted windsocks, approach and departure lights, and other lights. As helipads have become more commonplace, they’ve become more complex. Lily Helipads, LLC have found a way to simplify this design without reducing the safety features presented by the lights.

Lily Helipads have developed LED matrices which can be built directly into the landing surface to convey information with ease. The LEDs can be illuminated and controlled to create visible alphanumeric characters or animations. If installed with RGB color changing LEDs, then colors can be used to clarify messages. By having the LED matrices directly within the landing surface, the pilot never has to fragment their attention to gather information. They can display wind direction information in real time using FAA approved windsocks and displaying this directly within the line of sight on the actual landing surface. THis information can be automatically transported from the windsock to the LED programmer for rapid display of real-time data. 

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