Brigade Electronics Releases Obstruction Detection System

Although the BACKSENSE rear-detection system products created by Brigade Electronics, New York, N.Y., were developed primarily for rear-loaders in the mining industry, Jack Woginrich believes the BACKSENSE could have applications in the lift equipment industry, specifically for crane operators.

Woginrich, the North American sales manager for Brigade, said the product's alarm could be used to spot objects in any invisible sight lines to crane operators.

“The crane operator could use it for the forward and rear positions,” he said, adding that the BACKSENSE system can be programmed to warn operators of objects anywhere from 8 to 20 feet away.

The product works by using radar to detect unseen objects in the path of any machine. The BACKSENSE system is able to detect both moving and stationary objects • preventing damage to vehicles and property, as well as saving lives and preventing injury.

The three available operating systems are BS-1030 (able to detect objects within a 10-foot radius), BS-1045 (15-foot radius), and BS-1060 (20-foot radius). Each system has an external unit with a circular radar sensor, which is connected to an in-cab audiovisual display that uses LED distance indicators. The in-cab unit emits a tone that increases in pulse rate the closer an object is to the internal sensor.

The pulsed radar waves used by BACKSENSE have a longer range than infrared and ultrasonic waves, using a 5.8GHz radar frequency. Depending on how long it takes for a wave signal to return, the BACKSENSE can detect how far away an object is.

Unlike many other warning systems, the BACKSENSE is resistant to damage from extreme temperatures, water or vibration. After use, it can be steam-cleaned and pressure washed • key for use at dusty construction sites.

Brigade, which has offices in six European countries, has sold BACKSENSE overseas for a few years, but the products have only recently been sold in the United States. Charlotte, N.C.-based Blythe Construction was one of the first companies to test it out. Phil Addison, asphalt operations manager at Blythe, chose to purchase BACKSENSE because he'd been worried about the significant blind spots on Blythe's larger machines.

“The BACKSENSE radar system is much more durable than other systems we've tried,” he said. “It's not easily blinded by dust, steam or fog.”