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         DASR

 

Digital Air Surveillance Radar (DASR) has become a nationwide requirement to replace the  aging ASR-7 and 8 systems in FAA and DOD air traffic facilities.  Standard Terminal Automated Replacement System (STARS), the new terminal updated hardware system, requires a digital radar feed to drive the system.  DASR systems will be installed in terminal air traffic facilities not sited with ASR-9, the only existing terminal FAA digital radar (other than the digitized ASR-8's).  Some ASR-9 facilities will receive a back-up or a satellite airport ASR-11 system. 

Raytheon won the bid for DASR and is attempting to field their ASR-11 System.    Northrop Grumman  has fielde
d the ASR-12.

 

HISTORY

NATCA has been very involved with the ASR-11 project.  NATCA ASR-11 Reps, to date, have been Randy Wadle (MIA), Richard Brent (SCK now at ORD) and Perry Doggrell (P31), who now serves in that position.  DOD has been the lead agency in the majority of ASR-11 negotiations.   In recent years,  NATCA and the FAA have been very actively involved in developments as the system had been experiencing numerous shortcomings and identified problems not being adequately addressed.

 

ASR-11 Facility Process

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
As you are no doubt aware, 100-plus FAA facilities have been identified to receive the Raytheon DASR System 11 (ASR-11) replacement radar. There has not been much information floating around concerning the ASR-11, and lots of questions. We asked Raytheon to enlighten us on the entire preparation and installation process… they graciously sent us a flow chart depicting the entire process for DASR installations. It was a very extensive creation and quite large. We converted the flow chart into an outline mode and the above link (ASR-11 Facility Process) will yield the MS Word document.

The new mode of FAA technology replacement, involving NATCA and PASS with the FAA in all processes, has created a more harmonious relationship in the FAA equipment upgrade procedure. At the facility level, we must realize that there are certain items, in the installation, that will be site specific; however, most changes to the equipment installation cannot be changed without national (NATCA, PASS and FAA) approval. Approval for any changes would be held to the same stringent requirements applied to the system during development and the cost of these changes would have to be absorbed by the program (which is already taxed). Hopefully the ASR-11 Tech Rep Teams have covered or will cover most potential problems during OT&E and IOT&E and changes will not become an issue.

Locally (at ERI) FAA management, NATCA and PASS have worked together on the proposed ASR-11 install since the beginning. Raytheon and FAA HQ have answered all our questions and have been very accommodating in all areas to date. With more information being available at the facility, we hope this may make us more informed partners in the process that will be taking place.

Good luck,

Andy Chalot
NATCA ASR-11 Team
NATCA Safety Erie Tower

Achalay@csonline.net or natcaeri@velocity.net

ASR-11...   STATUS 

Update 8_6_2004
The CENRAP Switch has been fixed and is due to be evaluated in Lincoln, NE the week of August 9th.  It will be installed at all future sites before going ORD.

Update 5_27_2004
There have been some problems with the PBI ASR-11 since the CENRAP switch was installed.  There seems to be some connection to the problem and the software for the CENRAP switch.  Raytheon is developing a new software patch for the system.  More switches are being manufactured and will be deployed as they are finished.  The software should be completed prior to deployment of the switches.

Update 5_22_2004
The CENRAP Switch has been completed and was evaluated this week in SCK and PBI.  Other than the Local/Remote switch not being backlit, which we can live with, there were no objections.  Word is that the FAA has not appropriated the money to pay for these switches yet so there are only 2 available (PBI and BOI).  Until the funding for these switches is freed, there may be delays in the field.  Raytheon built the first two on "good faith".

The training aids for the VDCU, RCP and PPI have not been printed yet due to funding.  The files are available for facilities that are ready to commence training from the FAA HQ Program Office.

Update 3_31_2004Update 3_31_2004
The was a problem with an SDT failure last week that had the PBI controllers without radar for 4 minutes during a very busy traffic session.  Four minutes is a lifetime during busy traffic.  The data is being compiled to discover the problem.  The CENRAP switch solution is nearing completion and the Article 48 Team may travel to PBI soon to evaluate the fix.  The new DVG is expected to hit the street in the July timeframe.

Update 3_5-2004
Communications from AEA installation sites to the involved facilities has been cited as practically nonexistent.  The TOR position has not been utilized at PHL/NXX or ERI.  The lack of oversight and communications created by this was addressed at the regional level this week.  We will report if any action is undertaken and if the situation improves.

Update 2_15_2004
The training guides for setting up PPIs (scopes) and VDCU should have been sent to the printers and will be disseminated to facility's slated for ASR-11 installation.  Guides for the RCP should also be out soon.  The final ASR-11 CBI is awaiting OKC blessing and then it should be mailed.

Latest implementation waterfall for the ASR-11 came out on March 5th, but I am having problems getting the file.....

the last  ASR-11 Waterfall  on here is Feb 5, 2004.

LINK to ASR-11 Historical Events from 2001-2003

LINK to the DASR Page for further ASR-11 info...

Erie ASR-11 Radar Site

November 4, 2004
Raytheon, FAA and local AF are still working the issues that need cleaned up before we commission the ASR-11.  A new ARTS build should be here anyday and that should have every item cleaned up in the automation arena.  The radar performance is splendid; however, the weather radar seems to be off from what other radar sources (NEXRAD, Doppler, airborne radars) are showing.  The ASR-11 weather radar shows only quantity of precipitation in weather and the levels are graded by that amount.  We have had several thunderstorms pass through lately and the ASR-11 is only showing level 1 and 2 weather activity.

October 4, 2004
We still have a few issues that need rectified before we commission the ASR-11.  The commercial power, supplied by Penelec, has been a recurring problem as the feed has been dropping almost daily and is consistently running about 10 volts low.  This condition causes the UPS to take over and then brings the EG (Engine Generator) online to provide critical power to the radar until acceptable commercial power is restored to the system.  Since August 16th, the ASR-11 EG has run over 65 hours.  Penelec has installed monitors at the site but will not talk to anyone locally.  This constant utilization of the EG and UPS will have an effect on the lifespan of these  vital support pieces.  Raytheon is working the issue and hopes to work out a suitable remedy.

The control tower VDCU (Video Display Control Unit) is not currently backed up by a UPS.  Whenever there is a power bump (surge or drop) the unit ceases working and a manual reset is required to get it back in operation.  The tower VDCU controls the display of the ASR-11 weather and primary target selection.

The ARTS IIE MSAW and acquire/drop areas are slightly out of sync and are in the progress of being amended with a new patch.  Raytheon had a new survey done and now everyone should be on the same sheet of music.  

September 1, 2004
The ORD period to date has gone quite well.  We have a few items that are being addressed.  Weather radar levels are off slightly and the ARTS IIE automation is being fine tuned.  Tweaking will continue until the system is like a Swiss-watch.  Will keep you all updated.

August 23, 2004
It has been a LONG time coming but I am ecstatic to announce that the Erie DASR-11 commenced the Operational Readiness Demonstration (ORD)at 6:00 AM this morning.  Thanks to the dedication of a large group of technicians and experts who worked endlessly throughout the preceding weekend, this ORD date was struck!!  Throughout the day, the ASR-11 performed as advertised.  The ORD will continue until controllers and technicians are satisfied with the performance and recommend commissioning the radar.  This could transpire in 30 days depending on the radar.

August 17, 2004
On the early morning of August 12th, Erie Tower was a hotbed of activity.  The "Dry Run Cutover" test of the ERI ASR-11 was scheduled and went exceptionally well.  Also tested was the automation interface -flawless.  The CENRAP Switch worked as advertised.  CENRAP Plus was also tested an it also passed the muster.  There is still  much to be completed before the ORD date of August 23rd.  All Teams (FAA, Raytheon, Contractors, FAA ANI Team and Airways Facilities (both SMO and local techs) are putting out 110% trying to meet the August 23rd ORD date.  We are all sleeping with our fingers crossed to make this date happen.

August 6, 2004
Well we are about ready to "rock and Roll" with the ASR-11.  Most of the outstanding items have been fixed or will be before going ORD.  ORD date is planned for August 23.  Controller training is in progress.  A dry-run cutover will take place during the midnight shift on August 11-12.

June 12, 2004
The FAA ASR-11 Commissioning Flight Evaluation took place June 8-9 with a KingAir 300 flying the run.  Coverage was excellent in all quadrants with the exception of the Jamestown, NY (JHW) area and the coverage was much better than our curent ASR-7 provides but not quite up to that observed by the FAA Optimization Team.  The "flight check" is performed with only 7 of 8 power amplifier modules and in the Circular Polarization (CP) mode, so this may have had some bearing on the results.  Edge of scope is 59 NM and we observed the BE30 go off the scope SW thru NW at 2,000 MSL.  We lost the target at 16NM on the ASR-7!!  
Aylmer VOR (YQO) was 3,000.  JARVS, MOAWK and BROTO intersections were 2,000.  Dunkirk (DKK) was 3,000.  JHW airport was 4,500 and the JHW VOR was 5,000 MSL.  Tiduote VOR (TDT) was 4,500 and Franklin  VOR (FKL) was 5,000.  Corry-Lawrence airport (8G2) was 3,500 and Brokenstraw airport (PA11) was 4,000 MSL.   Port Meadville airport (GKJ) was 3,000... LINES intersection was 2,500... CLERI intxn was 2,500.  These altitudes were our required altitudes and lower altitudes were not checked at this time so coverage could and probably will be better than that attained in the flight check.

The technician/evaluators were going out to the ASR-11 site to compile the results and see if there was anything that could be affecting the JHW area coverage other than the reduced power used for the evaluation.

May 31, 2004
Radar coverage altitudes listed below (Primary Radar / Secondary Radar) were better that requested and are projected to be as follows:  
ERI Arpt - 700/800                 JFN/HZY - 1200/1300            8G2 Arpt - 2300/2600  
TDT VOR- 3300/3500            JHW Arpt - 3200/4800            JHW VOR - 3300/4800
The FAA AOS optimization was conducted during a rash of inclement weather, so the final coverage numbers could end up being better than those reported.  
The only problem encountered during optimization was one that has existed for some time = false plots and false tracks along the outer edge of weather and along the edges of the different weather levels.  The ASR-11 has a "velocity editor" which eliminates primary targets less than 40kts airspeed.  The AOS Team upped the speed to 60 kts and the situation was vastly improved; however, we have a problem with increasing to this speed.  We do have non-transponder aircraft that frequent ERI that will be edited out due to low performance (60 kts or less) and when the wind is strong on final.  Some of these targets produced by this weather edge phenomena are high-confidence targets and will give us a "diamond" on the ARTS which indicates a primary target.  This problem is indemic to the system and is being worked on by Raytheon.  

 

May 27, 2004
The FAA Optimization Team finished optimizing  the ERI ASR-11 and radar coverage figures were given at the outbrief meeting.  Radar coverage is excellent and it appears we will get all (and then some) we requested in our Air Traffic Requirements document.  Commissioning Flight Check is scheduled to take place June 8, 9 and 10th.  The DVG Switch is scheduled to arrive on June 24th.  We should receive the CENRAP Switch in mid to late July and the new software should be completed before that time.  If all holds true, we may commence ORD in late July.

We are working with Hanley Yu on the flight plan for the commissioning flight check for the ERI ASR-11.

 

May 22, 2004
The DD-250 was signed last week and the FAA AOS Optimazation Team is at the ERI ASR-11 and working their magic on the radar.  I visited the site last week and the radar coverage I witnessed was excellent.  I spent sometime on the phone with a controller in the TRACON comparing data on both systems.

The problems with the MRSM (PARROT) seem to have been taken care of with a new MRSM.

It appears the FAA Flight Inspection of the ERI ASR-11 is on schedule for June 7-9th, depending on weather.   If all goes well, we may be ready to start Operational Readiness Demonstration (ORD) in mid to late July... depending on the delivery date for the DVG Switch and CENRAP Switch.  The newly designed antenna ladder will be deployed ASAP.  PBI and BOI get the first two ladders, then BGR, then ERI.

Update 2_15_2004
The training guides for setting up PPIs (scopes) and VDCU should have been sent to the printers and will be disseminated to facility's slated for ASR-11 installation.  Guides for the RCP should also be out soon.  The final ASR-11 CBI is awaiting OKC blessing and then it should be mailed.

Update 12_9_2003
The VDCU evaluation at SCK went well.  The Article 48 Workgroup was pleased with the modifications to the alarm mechanism and the way the equipment is configured to work.

Update November_28_2003
The Video Display Control Unit (VDCU) upgrades are scheduled for evaluation at Stockton, CA the week of Dec 8th.  Included is the ability to silence alarms on the VDCU.  Members of the Article 48 Workgroup will conduct the evals.

November_1_2003
The safety retrofits to the ASR-11 sites are in progress and may delay installations a short time until they are complete.

October_17_2003
The performance of the PBI radar is now yielding much more coverage than the old system.  This has created a new concern that the capacity of the display abilities (ARTS IIE and RADS) may be overtaxed.   The limitations of these two older systems (ARTS IIE and RADS) is a known factor and actions are being taken to address this situation until the new controller displays (and systems) STARS are deployed.

Additionally new safety enhancements for the antenna sites have been mandated.  These enhancements will be incorporated into all ASR-11 antenna sites before construction contiues.

August_31_2003
The Article 48 Team just finished a review of the revised Radar Control Panel in Stockton, CA.  The panel will be further evaluated in PBI Sept 9th by representatives of the IOT&E and Article 48 Team.  As a member of the Article 48 Team, I will attend the eval.  We will also be discussing any issues that arose in the PBI transition from analog to digital radar.  Controllers at Boise, ID (BOI) completed evaluation of the newly revised ASR-11 CBI course.

July_31_2003
IOT&E is complete at PBI.  The IOT&E downbriefs were held at FAA HQ  on July 15-16.  There was a major problem with LAN B on the PBI ASR-11.  A malfunction had the video maps shifting up to 90 degrees from the norm.  This prompted the Raytheon and FAA Team to recreate the problem in the lab and the team is working at the SCK "Shadow TRACON" and have identified the problem as a bus failure on LAN B.  The bus is hardwired on the LAN A motherboard but a plug-in on LAN B.  They report they have fixed the LAN B problem but must conduct required testing on the new component.

Another item identified by the IOT&E Team was the number of nuisance alarms on the Radar Control Panel (RCP) and alarms requiring acknowledgment by all RCPs.  This had been reported several times by the Article 48 Workgroup.  These problems are being addressed by the Article 48 Workgroup.  An RCP Telcon will take place next week.

An area west of PBI to 20 NM west on/near the 9L/R final approach is producing false plots/track creating additional workload with traffic calls.  A rag map is being formulated to address this problem.

Several other items identified by IOT&E are being "pursued with vigor" by the FAA National ASR-11 Team.

The In-Service Decision has not been made yet due to these pending issues.

The final version of the ASR-11 CBI Training CD should be coming out soon.  Most all of the suggested changes should be incorporated into this version.  The national plan is for the CBI to be administered as the operation of the ASR-11 nears 45 days before IOC.  Classroom and hands-on training will be included.  Training for each CPC will be 8 hours.

June_1_2003 

West Palm Beach went IOC on May 28th.  Perry Doggrell, Jim Green and Andy Chalot from NATCA Article 48 were present when the transition occurred.  The target channel performed very well... coverage was much better than their ASR-8, false targets/plots were very scarce and the overall controller transition was smooth.  Weather was plentiful and the weather channel was very good with one exception.  Some levels of weather did not seem to correspond with TDWR or pilot reports of weather intensity.  The levels displayed appeared to be one level under reported conditions (i.e.: level 2 vs. level 3).  The TDWR is a more specialized radar... it utilizes a much smaller beam - 1/4 km vs. the ASR-11's 1/2 mile beam, slower rotation and capable of scanning horizontal and vertical.  The TDWR antenna is 10 miles west of the ASR-11 antenna.  This issue is still being addressed.

Tom Skahen, PBI ASR-11 Local Rep (and member of national IOT&E Team) was charged with the controller preparation and did a splendid job.

IOT&E will take place this month.

The final version of the ASR-11 CBI training was evaluated at PHX on May 20th and is now ready for prime time.  It should arrive at a facility near you in the near future.

 

April_20_2003

ASR11 OT&E at Stockton.........

The NATCA OT&E team (along with the Agency) conducted an evaluation of the Stockton ASR11 from April 1, 2003 thru April 4, 2003 .  We observed the radar using targets of opportunity.  We also had several days of live weather mostly level 1 and 2, but occasionally level 3, and one case of a small area of level 4 weather.   We also noted that the velocity editor of the Stockton ARTS IIE was set at 20 knots (STARS at PHL uses 60 knots).

 We observed the following:

  1. Occasional loss of primary targets, usually for one or two scans.  This was noticed the most in clutter areas that were mapped.  The group felt that it was important for each facility to be involved with the RAG map development, and have a picture available showing the mapped areas.
  2. The group noticed some false targets, particularly in areas of weather, the vicinity of the airport, and from 5 15 nm SE of Stockton.  The group felt that the false targets would not adversely effect the identification and tracking of a primary target.   However, the group also felt that the false targets could have an adverse effect on providing traffic advisories depending on the location and number of the false targets.
  3. There were no significant issues with the secondary (beacon) radar.
  4. We also observed the radar in degraded operation.   The ASR11 has 8 transmitters and is certified to operate with fewer than 8 so long as there is not a loss in signal strength of more than 1dB.  This is a change from the original specification which called for the radar to be called out of service if 2 or more transmitters failed.  We felt the new specification is an improvement based on degraded radar performance we have witnessed at this test as well as previous ones.  We observed the radar operating with just 6 of 8 transmitters (less than 1 dB loss) and noted no significant loss in performance.  We did note that weather contours were not as well defined using 6 of 8 transmitters.

 Overall, our observations were similar to those we saw at PHL.  However, we were pleasantly surprised that the number of false targets at Stockton did not increase over the number we saw at PHL, despite the lower ARTS velocity editor in Stockton .  The OT&E team felt that the ASR11 was operationally suitable at Stockton (as we did at PHL), but we still retain our concerns that the primary radar performance at another location with more challenging conditions (terrain, weather, clutter, etc.) might render a different conclusion.

One of our major concerns was the number alarms and acknowledgments required on the radar control panel (RCP).  This has been identified as an issue for several years.  In its current state the RCP beeps when there is any status change (ie. changing from channel A to channel B or changing from LP to CP).  In addition, actual radar failures also beep on the RCP.  All of this beeping can only be silenced by depressing an acknowledge button on the RCP.  At times, the number of status changes can require multiple acknowledgments, and the user might miss an actual failure acknowledgment due to the sheer number of alarms.  We also had a concern that changing channels in the radar room would trigger the RCP in the tower to beep as well.  We felt all of this beeping and acknowledging were distracting and unnecessary.  We also felt that the controllers might be conditioned to ignore the RCP because of all the alarms, and could miss real failures that they should be aware of.  After several sometimes tense hours of discussion with the Agency, it was agreed that the RCP should only alarm to indicate equipment failures and other significant events to the radar system, not system status changes.  The Agency indicated that this could be accomplished by reprogramming a computer in the RCP, and that they were willing to do this.

Our work group also identified a training issue with setting up the displays.  While the scope setup is covered in the ASR11 CBI training course, our work group still found it difficult to quickly set up the radar scope.  The knobs on the radar scope all have different functions than they did when the scope was used with an analog (ASR7 or 8) radar.  After practicing several times, we were better able to set the scope up.  Our concern is that for most facilities, there will not be a lot of practice time, unless the facility has a separate set of displays set up for use/practice with the ASR11.  Most facilities will not have this capability.  We felt that each facility when transitioning to the ASR11 should have a rover or rovers available who are familiar with the ASR11/radar display setup to assist the facility over the first few days of ASR11 operation.

The Agency also told us about a new improved primary radar processor (ASDP Advanced Signal Data Processor) that they are currently researching for the ASR11.  They feel that the ASDP would give the ASR11s primary radar more capability to both reduce false targets even further while improving the primary target tracking. 

It is my recommendation that a written agreement with the Agency be pursued by NATCA to ensure they continue to fund research and development of the ASDP as well as incorporating the agreed on changes to the RCP.

Perry Doggrell
NATCA ASR11 Representative

 

SYSTEM  DELIVERY

2_5_2004        ASR-11 Waterfall (2-5-2004)

 

The FAA was slated to receive  112  DASR systems (Site Locations) ; however, FAA funding has places several sites off the currently funded list.

NATCA Eastern Region Site Status

ERI

11.4.2004
Raytheon, FAA and local AF are still working the issues that need cleaned up before we commission the ASR-11.  A new ARTS build should be here anyday and that should have every item cleaned up in the automation arena.  The radar performance is splendid; however, the weather radar seems to be off from what other radar sources (NEXRAD, Doppler, airborne radars) are showing.  The ASR-11 weather radar shows only quantity of precipitation in weather and the levels are graded by that amount.  We have had several thunderstorms pass through lately and the ASR-11 is only showing level 1 and 2 weather activity.

10.4.2004
We still have a few issues that need rectified before we commission the ASR-11. 
The commercial power, supplied by Penelec, has been a recurring problem as the feed has been dropping almost daily and is consistently running about 10 volts low.  This condition causes the UPS to take over and then brings the EG (Engine Generator) online to provide critical power to the radar until acceptable commercial power is restored to the system.  Since August 16th, the ASR-11 EG has run over 65 hours.  Penelec has installed monitors at the site but will not talk to anyone locally.  This constant utilization of the EG and UPS will have an effect on the lifespan of these  vital support pieces.  Raytheon is working the issue and hopes to work out a suitable remedy.

The control tower VDCU (Video Display Control Unit) is not currently backed up by a UPS.  Whenever there is a power bump (surge or drop) the unit ceases working and a manual reset is required to get it back in operation.  The tower VDCU controls the display of the ASR-11 weather and primary target selection.

The ARTS IIE MSAW and acquire/drop areas are slightly out of sync and are in the progress of being amended with a new patch.  Raytheon had a new survey done and now everyone should be on the same sheet of music.

9.1.2004
The ORD period to date has gone quite well.  We have a few items that are being addressed.  Weather radar levels are off slightly and the ARTS IIE automation is being fine tuned.  Tweaking will continue until the system is like a Swiss-watch.  Will keep you all updated.

8.23.2004
It has been a LONG time coming but I am ecstatic to announce that the Erie DASR-11 commenced the Operational Readiness Demonstration (ORD)at 6:00 AM this morning.  Thanks to the dedication of a large group of technicians and experts who worked endlessly throughout the preceding weekend, this ORD date was struck!!  Throughout the day, the ASR-11 performed as advertised.  The ORD will continue until controllers and technicians are satisfied with the performance and recommend commissioning the radar.  This could transpire in 30 days depending on the radar.

8.17.2004
On the early morning of August 12th, Erie Tower was a hotbed of activity.  The "Dry Run Cutover" test of the ERI ASR-11 was scheduled and went exceptionally well.  Also tested was the automation interface -flawless.  The CENRAP Switch worked as advertised.  CENRAP Plus was also tested an it also passed the muster.  There is still  much to be completed before the ORD date of August 23rd.  All Teams (FAA, Raytheon, Contractors, FAA ANI Team and Airways Facilities (both SMO and local techs) are putting out 110% trying to meet the August 23rd ORD date.  We are all sleeping with our fingers crossed to make this date happen.

8.6.2004
Well we are about ready to "rock and Roll" with the ASR-11.  Most of the outstanding items have been fixed or will be before going ORD.  ORD date is planned for August 23.  Controller training is in progress.  A dry-run cutover will take place during the midnight shift on August 11-12.

6.12.2004
The FAA ASR-11 Commissioning Flight Evaluation took place June 8-9 with a KingAir 300 flying the run.  Coverage was excellent in all quadrants with the exception of the Jamestown, NY (JHW) area and the coverage was much better than our curent ASR-7 provides but not quite up to that observed by the FAA Optimization Team.  The "flight check" is performed with only 7 of 8 power amplifier modules and in the Circular Polarization (CP) mode, so this may have had some bearing on the results.  Edge of scope is 59 NM and we observed the BE30 go off the scope SW thru NW at 2,000 MSL.  We lost the target at 16NM on the ASR-7!!  
Aylmer VOR (YQO) was 3,000.  JARVS, MOAWK and BROTO intersections were 2,000.  Dunkirk (DKK) was 3,000.  JHW airport was 4,500 and the JHW VOR was 5,000 MSL.  Tiduote VOR (TDT) was 4,500 and Franklin  VOR (FKL) was 5,000.  Corry-Lawrence airport (8G2) was 3,500 and Brokenstraw airport (PA11) was 4,000 MSL.   Port Meadville airport (GKJ) was 3,000... LINES intersection was 2,500... CLERI intxn was 2,500.  These altitudes were our required altitudes and lower altitudes were not checked at this time so coverage could and probably will be better than that attained in the flight check.

The technician/evaluators were going out to the ASR-11 site to compile the results and see if there was anything that could be affecting the JHW area coverage other than the reduced power used for the evaluation.

5.31.2004
Radar coverage altitudes listed below (Primary Radar / Secondary Radar) were better that requested and are projected to be as follows:  
ERI Arpt - 700/800                 JFN/HZY - 1200/1300            8G2 Arpt - 2300/2600  
TDT VOR- 3300/3500            JHW Arpt - 3200/4800            JHW VOR - 3300/4800
The FAA AOS optimization was conducted during a rash of inclement weather, so the final coverage numbers could end up being better than those reported.  
The only problem encountered during optimization was one that has existed for some time = false plots and false tracks along the outer edge of weather and along the edges of the different weather levels.  The ASR-11 has a "velocity editor" which eliminates primary targets less than 40kts airspeed.  The AOS Team upped the speed to 60 kts and the situation was vastly improved; however, we have a problem with increasing to this speed.  We do have non-transponder aircraft that frequent ERI that will be edited out due to low performance (60 kts or less) and when the wind is strong on final.  Some of these targets produced by this weather edge phenomena are high-confidence targets and will give us a "diamond" on the ARTS which indicates a primary target.  This problem is indemic to the system and is being worked on by Raytheon.  

2.15.2004
SAT-2 is complete with the exception of one component (DVG Switch) that has yet arrive at the ERI site.   Progress is good and the system is being reported as having "some of the best numbers of any system installed to date."  The radar could be on the controller's displays as soon as late April-early May.  The official commissioning will take place in August.  Controller training should commence very soon.

1.13.2004
Site Acceptance Testing (SAT) phase One was completed last week.  This was a basic overview of the entire facility and went very well.  They are now conducting dry-run tests for the eventual cut-over to ASR-11 data.  SAT-2 will commence in the near future.  As soon the FAA reprioritization of the top 5 sites (Fresno, boise, Lincoln, Erie and Bangor) is completed, timelines will be dictated.   We should know in a couple weeks.  During SAT-2 there will be a quite extensive FAA Flight Check of the radar to ensure that all radar coverage needs are met with the system. Optimization will take place then and soon after the ASR-11 radar data will be in use at ERI TRACON.

The ASR-11 Cutover Meeting took place today.  Schematics and generic schedules were reviewed and the items that are germane to ERI were reviewed and discussed.  As stated above, we are not sure yet when cutover will take place.  The lions share of the cutover work will take place from midnight to 6:00 AM while the tower is closed.

12.17.2003
Part 1 of the ERI ASR-11 Site Acceptance Testing (SAT)  has commenced.  This is a five day process and is basically a final review of the site construction to verify the facility performs to system specifications.  Part 2 is approximately a 10 day process performing a final test of the ASR-11 system, data collection and verifying that all items identified in earlier testing have been addressed.

SAT will include a formal flight inspection with a dedicated aircraft and an evaluation of all identified air traffic coverage requirements.  The Radar SAT is the final testing of the radar equipment.  When Radar SAT has been completed the radar system is at a level of operation that the System Acceptance process can begin.

11.28.2003
The Digital Video Map generator for the ASR-11 spare radar scope has arrived.  A small problem now is the video maps were created using 9 degrees variation and all surrounding approach controls and centers are using 8 degrees.  This will create an ambiguity problem on interface operations with these facilities.  The problem has been identified and is being worked at FAA HQ level at this time.

11.3.2003
The safety retrofits for Erie will commence early December and should be complete within 2-3 weeks.  SAT will recommence when they are complete.  The new proposed operational time frame for ERI to go operational is Apr-May 2004.  A new waterfall should be coming out soon to take into account the safety retrofits and is supposed to be more realistic in timeframe.

10.17.2003
Safety enhancements for technicians working on the antenna have been mandated for the ASR-11 now and will be accomplished prior to continuing SAT.  ERI dates are now listed as "To Be Determined".  I will report when this condition changes. 

9.22.2003
The requirement for an environmental cabinet (which has yet to be delivered) for  the MRSM installation has entailed another delay in the operational date of the ASR-11.  The "new" proposed date of operation is February 23, 2004.

8.31.2003
The installation of the MRSM has further delayed the start of SAT.  The proposed date for the commissioning of the ERI ASR-11 is now December 17, 2003.

7.31.2003
Site Acceptance Testing (SAT) for facility and construction has been delayed until September due to the delay in installation of the MRSM (PARROT).  SAT-2 for radar and electronics will start after SAT-1 completion.

Full diversity telecommunication microwave equipment is being pursued at this time.

The proposed radio tower near the ASR-11 antenna is being addressed by FAA/Raytheon environmental and legal people.  Screen analysis data is in and RF analysis should be done soon to see the effect of a tower on theASR-11.

Commissioning should take place in the October/November time frame.

6.1.2003    ERI is approved for full communications diversity.  Leased microwave equipment is being pursued at this time.  Site Acceptance Testing (SAT) for facility and construction will start early July.  SAT-2 for radar and electronics will start after SAT-1 completion.  MRSM (PARROT) relocation is still in the process, we should have an update soon.

The proposed radio tower near the ASR-11 antenna is being addressed by FAA/Raytheon environmental and legal people.  Screen analysis data is in and RF analysis should be done soon to see the effect of a tower on the ASR-11.

ERI will have to update the SATP design when the decision is made on the location of the VDCUs. 

The ASR-11 Flight Check will take place in August.

Commissioning should take place as early as mid-Sept to October

3.1.2003    With pressure, Raytheon fielded an INCO Team within two weeks and ERI lost no time.  The temporary frequency is being used and progress is good.  The sail is turning now and the October commissioning date still looks feasible.

1.12.2003    The Erie ASR-11 Raytheon Team will be gone from Erie by January 30th.  It seems the Installation and Checkout (INCO) Team who were supposed to be be here installing the wave guide but, did not show.  Investigation revealed that Raytheon had failed to order the radar frequency crystals in time for their manufacture to avail the scheduled INCO start.  It takes around 6 months to grow the crystals.  The FAA and Raytheon are now attempting to select a temporary frequency from the available crystals for a new frequency close to Erie's ASR-11 assigned frequency that will not interfere with the existing ERI ASR-7 radar.  This will (hopefully) be completed soon and the INCO can proceed with the temporary frequency until the new crystals are delivered.  Word is that Raytheon is putting together a new INCO Team which will be at ERI hopefully in early February.  We are still hoping to make the October 2003 commissioning date.


ROA 
3.1.2003    The Kick-Off Meeting at ROA was on February 25th.  They will now be reviewing other candidaate sites for the ASR-11 antenna.  FAA HQ has agreed to attempt to pursue a means of increasing radar coverage in the higher elevations which is blocked by the nearby mountains.  This will be a moot point when STARS is installed as the ability to mosaic in other radar systems will solve the problem 

NXX/PHL
PHL is operational with ASR-11 (NXX Site) with STARS interface. (March 6, 2003)


2.20.2003
Update 2_21_2003
The NATCA ASR-11 OT&E Team completed a two week Air Traffic User Evaluation at ACY and PHL on the Navy Willow Grove (NXX) ASR-11.  The evaluation was  for the STARS Interface at PHL.  The team had some reservations about the ASR-11 primary radar performance in the presence of weather and in the transitional phases of different levels of weather.  The ASR-11 velocity editor was set at 60 kts for this evaluation, as STARS utilizes a velocity editor set at 60 kts also.  Given the STARS utilization of numerous radar sites, the team approved the ASR-11 site for operational activation at PHL.  
PHL plans to go IOC on March 6, 2003.

history:
Site Acceptance Test (SAT) completed 10/2/02
ANI revisits site 1/27/03
OT&E activities 3/3/03
Technical Performance Records Start Date 2/3/03 - completed 2/7/03
Commissioning Flight Check - 2/10/03 - completed 2/12/03
Partial Joint Acceptance Inspection (JAI) - 3/5/03
IOC in support of PHL STARS - 3/6/03
Commissioning 8/15/03


RME
-> Design and construction of ASR-11 facility on hold.  Decision needed to determine if this site is still valid.
-> Lease is highly recommended to protect the preferred site.

MMU
-> 8/20/02  Downselect Telcon resulted in Sites 3, 5, 13 and 15 as candidate sites for further analysis.
-> Rights of Entry (ROE) for sites 3, 5 and 15 are in place. ROE for site 13 is undergoing legal review.
-> Pending approval of site 13, Raytheon will submit a Preliminary Site Survey   Report (PSSR) based on panoramics and analysis of the 4 candidate sites.

ABE
-> Site 14 was selected as the preferred site.
-> Legal Description Site Visit - 10/22/02


AVP
-> Preliminary Site Survey Report (PSSR) Submittal - 11/21/02

CRW
-> Kickoff Site Survey Meeting - 12/3/02

RDG
-> Kickoff Site Survey Meeting - 10/22/02

HTS
-> Site Survey NLT Start date - August '03

CKB
->Site Survey NLT Start date - January '04

BGM
->Site Survey NLT Start date - March '04

ELM
-> Site Survey NLT Start date - April '04

~ ~ ~   NATCA's ASR-11 Team    ~ ~ ~     

*ASR-11 Rep - Perry Doggrell (P31) Pensacola TRACON

 

NATCA ASR-11 Regional Reps
NAL - John Brown  (FAI)               NGL - Jim Green (D21)
NEA - Jim Musone (ERI)               NNE - Norm Smith (K90)
NNM - Steve Boyer (EUG)             NSO - Perry Doggrell (P31)
NSW - Scott Voigt (ZFW)               NWP - Jim Gruenewald (L30)
NCE  - Grant Anderson (SGF)

 

 COMMENTS 
Click Here To See Photos Of The ASR-11 Site in Stockton, CA.       SCK
 

e-Mail to
Perry Doggrell

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