When the FCC and FAA ruled in 1990 that towers with lighting systems must be monitored, Art Stone saw a good business opportunity and started Remote Monitoring Services. One of the few independent tower-monitoring companies in the United States, RMS has clients across the country and in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
RMS manufactures, sells and monitors a system that connects to lighting controllers. The controllers relay malfunctions or information from the site via cellular radio traffic simultaneously to RMS’ two monitoring facilities in Texas. When the signal is received, an operator can tell what the problem specifically is and follow the protocol. For instance, if lights are off at a tower at night, the FAA is notified immediately so they can warn pilots of the outage. The monitoring controllers automatically send a daily signal to every tower every 24 hours to test the unit. If they don’t get a response within 25 hours, they check in with the unit to see if there is a problem. Another problem might be the failure of the lights to change from daytime to night and back and the system can check it. All towers over 200 feet are required to have lighting. Stone said new clients can self-install the system or hire RMS to do it. He said more clients are now hiring the people who are already doing their light work and repairs to install the system.
In addition to lights, Stone said RMS can monitor any environmental parameter at a site that is not manned, including generators at remote tower sites. He is seeing more requests from wind farm generators for monitoring the radio towers that send data back to the operation centers. The system can also respond if the air conditioning or heating in shelters at unmanned sites aren’t working. For more information about RMS go to towermon.com.