Lighting Research Center
LRC Intranet Web mail Lighting Research Center

LRC News

Summer 2009
Unified System of Photometry Applied to Remote Airfield Lighting

The Federal Aviation Administration recently sponsored a consortium of American universities (Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, University of North Dakota – Aerospace, University of Alaska, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) to develop technical specifications for remote airfield lighting systems that will be used for nighttime operations by general (noncommercial) aircraft.

As part of this project, the LRC conducted three psychophysical experiments dealing specifically with the effects of light source intensity, color, and flash frequency on both objective and subjective measures of behavior under simulated flight conditions. Of special significance, this study showed for the first time that the unified system of photometry developed by the LRC to model the relative contributions of rods and cones for a given visual task could also be used to model the relative contributions of rods and cones for sequential visual tasks.  The LRC’s proposed unified system of photometry was designed to characterize light at any level including mesopic levels, bridging the photopic and scotopic luminous efficacy functions.

Mark Rea, Zongie Yuan, and Andrew Bierman have co-authored a paper, “The Unified System of Photometry Applied to Remote Airfield Lighting,” recently published in Lighting Research and Technology (2009; 41: 51-70), that explains the concept in full detail. 

Details of the LRC’s completed research in remote airfield lighting systems can be found here.

About the Lighting Research Center

The Lighting Research Center (LRC) is part of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute of Troy, N.Y., and is the leading university-based research center devoted to lighting. The LRC offers the world's premier graduate education in lighting, including one- and two-year master's programs and a Ph.D. program. Since 1988 the LRC has built an international reputation as a reliable source for objective information about lighting technologies, applications, and products. The LRC also provides training programs for government agencies, utilities, contractors, lighting designers, and other lighting professionals. Visit

Contact:lrcnewsletter@rpi.eduPhotos & Graphics:Dennis Guyon
Editor:Mary CimoWeb Production:Dennis Guyon
Contributing Writers:Jennifer Taylor, Mary Cimo, Dennis Guyon
  Newsroom Home
  Press Releases
  Project Sheets
  LRC Experts
  Quick Facts
  About Us
  Contact Us