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New Radar Being Constructed at Hector
October 17, 2005

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A new Airport Surveillance Radar (ASR-11) is being constructed at Hector International Airport.  Construction started in May 2005 and the new radar will replace an older ASR-8.  The new radar is being located directly south of the terminal building and is being funded entirely by the Federal Aviation Administration.  The new location will provide better coverage with the existing and future runway configuration than the old radar.

ASR PictureThe ASR-11 is a terminal air traffic control radar system that replaces current analog systems with new digital technology.  The ASR system detects aircraft position and weather conditions in the vicinity of civilian and military airfields.  The older ASR-8 radar is being replaced to improve reliability, provide additional weather data, reduce maintenance cost, improve performance, and provide digital data to new digital automation systems for presentation on air traffic controller displays.

The ASR-11 uses a continually rotating antenna mounted on a tower to transmit electromagnetic waves which reflect or backscatter from the surface of aircraft up to 60 miles from the radar.

The total ASR-11 system also includes the following facilities: an antenna tower, an electronic equipment shelter/building with heating, ventilation and air conditioning, a power distribution system, an uninterruptible power supply, a back-up emergency engine/generator set, fire detection, security, and cabling to connect the radar to the local radar approach control center.  The tower will be 70 feet in height.  The radar antenna and lightning masts on the top of the tower add an additional 20 feet to the total height of the structure.

In order to ensure uninterrupted air traffic control monitoring, the existing ASR-8 radar will continue to operate while the replacement radar is sited, constructed and tested.  Site preparation, electronic equipment installation, checkout and commissioning of the ASR-11 typically take 12 months to complete.  After the new ASR-11 system is fully operational, the old radar will be removed.


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