Case Studies

Aerospace Case Study - Air Traffic Control Systems

Company Name: Thales

Location: Manston, Kent’s International Airport

Aerospace Case Study

Air Traffic Control Systems at Manston, Kent’s International Airport

The problem

Manston is Kent’s International Airport, handling up to 700,000 passengers a year. It operates with a legacy, raw video, primary surveillance radar (PSR) and procures a feed of monopulse secondary surveillance radar (MSSR) data. Most radars see wind turbines as a ‘valid return signal’ – and the presence of three large offshore wind farms in the Thames Estuary means the legacy PSR detects returns from the turbines that are displayed as significant areas of clutter.

The solution

In order to avoid the detection of the wind turbine returns, we were asked to deliver our STAR 2000² and co-mounted RSM 970 S³ mode-S MSSR radar equipment – state-of-the-art solid-state radars that feed data into our Eurocat-C radar display system. Our new algorithms enable the STAR 2000² to differentiate between a ‘return signal’ from an aircraft and a turbine, and our advanced processing makes the installation of radars in the vicinity of wind farms safe and possible for air traffic.

The results

The Thales Eurocat-C radar display system will significantly increase reliability resulting from the dualised architecture, while enhanced Mode-S functionality enables air traffic controllers to see key data downloaded from the aircraft’s avionics. Backed up by automatic safety nets, the new system will present a much clearer situational picture to air traffic controllers, warning them of impending possible collisions between aircraft or between aircraft and terrain hazards.


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