While it’s the new aircraft that have grabbed the headlines, the associated ground support structure for Project Airseeker is equally important in terms of maximising the effectiveness of this investment. To that end, the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) made it a priority to provide new facilities at RAF Waddington, including a fully reconfigured maintenance and storage hangar, alongside a newly constructed annex to house administrative and training functions, as well as accommodation space.
The maintenance hangar is designed to service and maintain the aircraft and safety within this hi-tech environment is of paramount importance. In any environment with flammable materials, a fire detection and evacuation system is vital in order to keep people, property and assets safe. The DIO realised that only a state-of-the-art system could be relied upon to offer the requisite levels of protection and made contact with TecservUK to hear its recommendations.
Formed in 2001, Nottinghamshire based TecservUK is an established fire prevention company based in Nottingham. David Leamon, the company’s local Area Sales Manager, explains, ‘Our reputation is built on having the highest levels of technical competency, professional working practices and ethical conduct. We work across a diverse range of sectors and have an excellent reputation for our quality of service, so when the DIO needed a fire detection system that could ensure complete safety for those working on Project Airseeker, we had the perfect solution.’
TecservUK was charged with specifying and configuring two separate fire detection systems – one for the hangar and another for the annex. Following a comprehensive site survey, products from Morley-IAS by Honeywell were chosen and asked to explain the rationale behind this decision, David Leamon replies, ‘We have worked with Morley-IAS for many years and the quality of its products is second to none. Also, because of the robust way its systems are designed, we knew we could ensure maximum levels of safety and reliability.’
Both systems were based around the market leading Morley-IAS ZX2Se intelligent analogue addressable control panel. Dan Ascough, Business Manager for Morley-IAS comments, ‘The ZX2Se has been designed and constructed around proven and reliable microprocessor technology. It supports a total of five industry leading protocols, allowing fire detection devices to be independently selected based on performance or aesthetic appeal. Information on the location of fires, faults and system status can be easily displayed or printed in multiple locations, while integration with voice evacuation systems, paging systems and third party control systems is supported through a range of peripheral interface units. These features made it perfect for Project Airseeker.’
Equally suited for the hangar was a Honeywell FAAST LT aspirating smoke detection system. In order to cover an area over 15m high, the solution comprises of an enclosure, which houses the electronics that are powered from a supply, and a fan inside it that draws air in via sampling pipes that are connected to the unit. The air goes into an aspirating chamber and across a laser beam– if sufficient smoke particles are detected, an alarm condition will be activated. Servicing of the system is also easier because it can be conducted at ground level, as opposed to using overhead smoke detectors which would entail the use of ladders and poles.
As well as a wide range of call points, communication modules, isolators and enclosures, optical smoke detectors were used in both locations. By using the light scatter principle, they are ideal for applications where slow-burning or smouldering fires are possible and, when combined with ultraviolet/infrared flame detectors and a video smoke detection system, every possible eventuality has been covered.
The installation and commissioning process was incredibly smooth, which meant that the project was finished on schedule. TecservUK’s David Leamon concludes, ‘This was a fantastic project to work on and we are delighted to have been able to provide Project Airseeker with the industry’s leading life safety solutions.’
For more information, go to www.morley-ias.co.uk