Fire Detection for Aircraft Hangars

Industry | Aircraft Hangars

Highly flammable aviation fuel leaks can occur in aircraft hangars and fuel storage areas. Therefore, fire detection for aircraft hangars should be implemented to continuously monitor these areas and prevent fires. Fires in aircraft hangars are extremely costly as they can damage valuable equipment as well as costly aircraft and endanger the lives of personnel.

Challenges

Current flame detection solutions usually focus on the aircraft rather than the aircraft hangar. An aircraft hangar has its own set of challenges.

The fire detection system for aircraft hangars must avoid false alarms, use a minimum number of detectors and be able to achieve coverage over hangars that can be more than 60 m wide.

These are the main challenges involved:
» Large detection areas with significant obstacles – hangars are spacious, rectangular buildings with large obstructions in the form of aircraft bodies and wings. Detectors must be able to cover the whole area economically.

» Large hangar doors – these create variable conditions. When open, a detector’s field of view may include the runway, triggering false alarms if non-threatening flames are present, such as from jet afterburners or auxiliary power units in a parked aircraft.

» Radio frequency interference (RFI) – interference from avionics, ground-seeking airport radar and various communication devices can cause false alarm conditions.

» Varying hangar types – hangars are classified in compliance with NFPA 409 and the International Building Code, into four hangar group types, depending on construction, door height, building dimensions and the hazardous materials stored. Every hangar holds its own type and number of aircraft as well. When it comes to fire detection for aircraft hangars, these systems must be specific to the hangar, taking into account each facility’s characteristics and requirements.

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