New Airbus Defence and Space Radar makes air traffic safer
The ASR-NG system (Airport Surveillance Radar - Next Generation) newly developed by Airbus Defence and Space has displayed globally unique detection capabilities for air traffic control radars in a series of flight tests and calibration measurements.
“Our new ASR-NG has provided proof of its excellent performance,” said Thomas Müller, head of electronics and border security (EBS) at Airbus Defence and Space. “As a result, air traffic control can become more efficient, and consequently safer, despite a rapid increase in the volume of air traffic, including extremely small and non-cooperative aircraft, and despite challenges caused by wind energy plants.”
In a two-day flight campaign at the EBS test facilities in Germany, the ASR-NG detected the Flight Calibration Services’ test aircraft of the type “Learjet” reliably in different scenarios. In particular, the radar system achieved excellent detection values when it came to small objects at an extraordinarily great distance of 120 NM (approx. 220 km) and up to the maximum flight altitude of 45,000 ft (approx. 15 km). The ASR-NG was capable of this unique performance not only as a purely primary radar system, but also in conjunction with the secondary radar MSSR 2000 I (MSSR = Monopulse Secondary Surveillance Radar) in the so-called “full enhanced surveillance” mode in line with the new Mode S standard, which provides much more exact data on aircraft in a certain surveillance sector than previously. At the same time, the new signal processing algorithms and multiple parallel processing of the echoes received make it possible to suppress false echoes caused by wind turbines and to obtain a 3D altitude reading of the aircraft based on primary radar. The MSSR 2000 I is already being used in the air traffic control system of the German Armed Forces in a network working automatically (Mode S cluster).