Ellsworth Air Force Base has been fitted with a new digital airport surveillance radar system to be used in conjunction with the Dakota Air Traffic Control Facility.
The MEW digital radar replaces traditional airport-surveillance radar used by air traffic controllers, eliminates ground distractions and displays multiple levels of precipitation.
The system also helps with maintenance and parts challenges and increases the air base’s capability to control more airspace in Rapid City Regional Airport and other locations in South Dakota.
The USAF 28th Operations Support Squadron radar approach control facilities chief controller Chief Master Sgt Brian Lavoie said that this was the first air force DASR to be located outside of the military installation.
“This location provides us with line of sight to the runways at both airports and provides us with a clearer digital presentation which reduces our maintenance team’s workload on a daily basis,” he said.
The system automatically transmits digital radar to the standard terminal automation replacement system.
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The process eliminates the electronic conversion and decreases the time used to convert an electronic signal into a digital signal.
Installation took two years and involved personnel from 28th OSS, 28th Communications Squadron, 28th Civil Engineer Squadron and additional contractors.