USAF Officials Launch Digital Airport Surveillance Radar

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE: Ellsworth Air Force Base officialsrecently completed the installation of a digital airport surveillanceradar system to be used with the Dakota Air Traffic Control Facility here.
This modern, digital radar replaces traditional airport-surveillanceradar used by air traffic controllers, eliminates ground distractionsand displays multiple levels of precipitation.

The new system also helps address maintenance and parts challenges,while increasing Ellsworth AFB capabilities to control more airspace inRapid City and other locations in South Dakota, said Chief Master Sgt.Brian Lavoie, the 28th Operations Support Squadron radar approachcontrol facilities chief controller.
"This is the first Air Force DASR to be located outside of themilitary installation," Chief Lavoie said. "This location provides uswith line of sight to therunways at both airports and provides us with a clearer digitalpresentation which reduces our maintenance team's workload on a dailybasis."
The system does this by automatically transmitting digital radar tothe standard terminal automation replacement system. This processeliminates the electronic conversion that was necessary when usingtraditional airport surveillance radar signals, and decreases theamount of time used to convert an electronic signal into a digital signal.
Along with these advantages, the new system allows Ellsworth AFB airtraffic controllers to work more efficiently with Rapid City RegionalAirport.
"The old radar wouldn't be able to see aircraft landing at RapidCity Regional Airport," said Airman 1st Class Ryan Anger, a 28th OSSair traffic controller. "The DASR provides a larger range of scope andcan actually see airplanes landing at Rapid City Regional and picks-upechoes from aircraft farther away."
This two year project involved members from 28th OSS, 28th Communications Squadron, 28th Civil Engineer Squadron and contractors.
"The implementation of the DASR is landmark for us as controllers,"Chief Lavoie said. "We have lived with 1960s technology until today andour controller force now has state-of-the-art equipment to provide thesafest air traffic control service possible to our military andcivilian flying communities."

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