airport surveillance radar

Airbus Defence and Space has handed over the first of the 23 airport surveillance radars (ASR) to the German Air Force (Luftwaffe).

Delivered as part of a €250m upgrade programme of the German procurement authority, the radar has been installed at Air Wing 33’s Buchel Airbase, Germany.

The radars are claimed to be the most powerful airport ASR available to date. They will replace the existing radars that have been used in military air traffic control for the past 30 years.

Airbus Defence and Space Electronics business line head Thomas Muller said: "ASR offers an extraordinary performance proven in an extensive test phase.

"In particular, the sophisticated signal processing guarantees reliable and exact target tracking, even under difficult environmental conditions."

In particular, the new radars are scheduled to be used for approach control at the airfield itself. They will also cover airspace surveillance, within a radius of 60nm, to safely coordinate military flight movements with civil air traffic, amongst other things.

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The ASR consists of a primary radar and advanced signal processing technology for long-range surveillance. They can be combined with the monopulse secondary surveillance radars 2000 I (MSSR 2000 I) for automatic identification of an individual aircraft.

"Airport surveillance radars offer an extraordinary performance proven in an extensive test phase."

Aircraft identification queries are improved thanks to the fact that the secondary radar meets the new air traffic control standard Mode S. This radar is currently awaiting introduction in central European airspace.

The delivery coincides with successful completion of the second test phase of the company’s mobile Terrestrial Trunked Radio (Tetra) Long Term Evolution (LTE) radio system with the German Armed Forces (Bundeswehr).

During the trials, up to three radio cells combining both the Tetra and LTE standards passed assessments in two of the Bundeswehr’s Eagle IV armoured vehicles, as well as laboratory tests at the Bundeswehr Technical Centre WTD 81 in Greding, Germany.

The radio system is jointly developed with Alcatel-Lucent. It enables voice and broadband data services to be used in parallel, and is scheduled to undergo further tests with the Bundeswehr in 2015.

Image: The new airport surveillance radar has been installed at German Air Force Air Wing 33’s Buchel Airbase. Photo: courtesy of Copyright 2013 Airbus Defence and Space.

Defence Technology