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