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Minimal light pollution with maximum safety

Aircraft detection lighting system ensures dark nights around wind turbines across Germany

  • Germany’s largest project for aircraft detection lighting systems (ADLS) of wind turbines successfully activated in the presence of NRW Minister President Hendrik Wüst
  • More than 80 further installations of transponder ADLS planned in Germany in the first quarter alone
  • Lanthan Safe Sky relies on cooperation with mobile communications company Telefónica to ensure maximum pilot safety through reliable network coverage

Walldorf/Munich, January 19, 2022

A successful start to 2022: In the presence of Minister President Hendrik Wüst, the State Association for Renewable Energies North Rhine-Westphalia (LEE NRW) and Lanthan Safe Sky activated Germany’s largest project to date for aircraft detection lighting systems (ADLS) of wind turbines at the Issum wind farm on the Lower Rhine. The warning lights of the turbines now only light up when there is actually air traffic in the vicinity. The impact on people and the environment caused by the artificial lighting of wind turbines, which is visible from afar, is thus reduced to a minimum. “Only in dialog with politicians can we find far-reaching solutions to increase the acceptance of renewable energies. We are proud to be able to make a contribution here with our innovative technology and immediately relieve the burden on local residents and nature,” says Mitja Klatt, Managing Director of Lanthan Safe Sky.

Lanthan Safe Sky is the first approved manufacturer in Germany of transponder-based, demand-controlled night-time signal lighting for aviation obstacles. It reacts to transponder signals from flying objects and only switches on warning lights when there is air traffic in the vicinity. With its business model, the young company is primarily targeting the operators of around 17,500 wind turbines in Germany, for which red warning lights are mandatory. From January 2023, these may only be operated with a demand-controlled night warning light. Last year, Lanthan Safe Sky successfully activated a dozen transponder-based ADLS systems across Germany.

“What sounds so simple – the light goes out and only comes on again when there is movement – is a highly complex technical process. It must be ensured at all times that the transponder signals of the flight participants are received by our system installed in the wind turbine. This is the only way to guarantee the safety of the pilots, which is of course the top priority,” explains Chief Technology Officer Christian Hammer from Lanthan Safe Sky.

One of the Walldorf-based company’s most important partners is the telecommunications provider o2 / Telefónica. “Reliable network coverage is a basic requirement for our system and one of the most relevant aspects in terms of security,” explains Christian Hammer. O2 /Telefónica Deutschland is supplying Lanthan with an Internet of Things (IoT)-based solution that will enable the company to meet the high safety requirements for collision prevention in air traffic control. In particular, this includes uninterrupted mobile network coverage throughout Germany, secure and encrypted data communication, maximum reliability and the integration of transparent and automated management and control of this mobile communication.

“Digital innovations are made for people. The collaboration with Lanthan Safe Sky is an excellent example of this. Lanthan Safe Sky’s innovative IoT technology solves an annoyance for many citizens when it comes to wind energy and thus increases the acceptance of sustainable, green energy generation. Lanthan Safe Sky’s solution is a great example of how digitalization and sustainability go hand in hand. We at Telefónica Deutschland are pleased to make a contribution here with our digital mobile services,” says Karsten Pradel, Director B2B at o2 Telefónica Deutschland.

For Lanthan Safe Sky and its partner network, the main focus in 2022 will be on the numerous installations. More than 80 installations are currently planned for the first quarter of 2022 alone. “The year 2021 was characterized by the conclusion of contracts with operators throughout Germany and by official approval processes that demanded a lot from everyone involved. Now we can finally reap the rewards of this time-consuming but necessary preparatory work and switch off the disruptive lights on a large scale across Germany,” explains Marc Förderer, Head of Business Development at Lanthan Safe Sky. “Even outside Germany, the ADLS solution is now well on the way to becoming firmly established as an important instrument for increasing acceptance. In the Netherlands, we were already able to activate the first system at the Krammer wind farm at the end of last year. We are very much looking forward to the tasks ahead, which we will master well, not least thanks to our strong partners.”

About Lanthan Safe Sky GmbH

Lanthan Safe Sky GmbH‘s mission is to make the sky safer and nights darker. It emerged from the founders and players of Lanthan, Air Avionics and RECASE and thus combines the expertise of a leading provider of obstacle marking systems, an aviation-approved avionics system manufacturer and an experienced engineering and consulting service provider in the field of renewable energies.

The companies involved came together years ago to bring secure, cost-effective and sustainable detection technologies to market maturity with the Transponder ADLS.

They worked hard over a long period of time to create acceptance for this young technology. With success, as a broad consensus was reached: New legal regulations in countries such as Germany, but also at the ICAO, the world’s highest-ranking international civil aviation organization, allow the use of transponder ADLS technology, which is emission-free and based purely on the reception of data that every aircraft transmits anyway.

For a safe sky and dark nights.