Questions tagged [radar]

Radar is a surveillance technology that uses radio waves to determine the range (and azimuth) of an aircraft. It works by measuring the time difference between a radio transmission and the echo or reply to that transmission. Radars are the most common surveillance equipment used by ATC.

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106 views

What can cause a watchdog failure in an INDRA MSSR?

I am responsible for Mono-pulse Secondary Surveillance Radar (MSSR) system that resets itself after a watchdog failure. So far I have found the following: An unwanted number of replies are received ...
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How is a missile lock detected?

How can a fighter aircraft involved in a face-off detect a missile lock from a trailing aircraft so that it can make evasive maneuvers?
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Detection of solar balloons by ATC primary surveillance radar [duplicate]

I am curious whether a 30 cubic meter solar balloon made of black nylon and filled with ambient air would be detectable by the primary radar used by ATC in Continental Europe. Due to its size and ...
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How did a Soviet SA-3 missile manage to shoot down the F-117 Nighthawk?

This question is about the F-117A that was shot down in 1999. How did an obsolete missile like the SA-3 shoot down such an advanced aircraft for its time? This question has nothing to do with how ...
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Is Doppler navigation still in use for civilian aircraft?

Is it possible to find an airliner nowadays with Doppler radar used for navigation purposes?
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Is there any current and/or upcoming technology that alerts Air Traffic Controllers in case of loss of aircraft separation?

Currently doing an assignment and it to analyse an accident where older atc systems could have been at fault. In 1995 there was an incident where two aircraft came closer than the then current ...
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Why do (or did, until very recently) aircraft transponders wait to be interrogated before broadcasting beacon signals?

An aircraft’s transponder transmits signals that announce (at the very least) the aircraft’s identity, altitude, and direction of motion (plus, for most newer aircraft, a whole slew of other useful ...
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NEXRAD—why is it 2D?

If you paid attention to NEXRAD training, you know that the colors of pixels show the maximum activity at any altitude in that air column. (It’s a “composite” view.) NEXRAD itself samples in three ...
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How does an AMRAAM communicate securely with the aircraft that launched it?

From Wikipedia: It also incorporates a datalink to guide the missile to a point where its active radar turns on and makes terminal intercept of the target. An inertial reference unit and micro-...
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Can someone actually “fly under the radar”?

It is quite a common phrase, usually without having anything to do with radar or aviation. But. Is there such a thing as 'flying under the radar'? If so, why is this (and how low is that)?
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How did pilots avoid thunderstorms and related weather before “reliable” airborne weather radar was introduced on airliners?

How did airline and or mail pilots avoid hazardous weather especially at night before airborne weather radar systems were in use?
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On ATC's radar, does an aircraft that loses its transponder simply disappear?

If you look at shows like Air Crash Investigation, which surely take some creative license in how events are portrayed, they often portray the disappearance of an aircraft, or specifically loss of its ...
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Can radars detect small drones?

I've just started working with weather radars and such. With weather radars, it is possible to detect bird migrations with a specific algorithm and a lot of information about birds, but it would be a ...
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423 views

Are there any safety hazards when testing the F-16's fire control radar on the ground?

What are the procedures for ground testing an aircraft's fire control radar - for the F-16 or any other aircraft - and are there safety hazards associated with exposures to humans? Most importantly, ...
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How are military aircraft directed to targets?

How would a controller, say, AWACS or ground radar, direct via voice an aircraft to the location of an airborne target? I've seen it in movies, but don't know if they where right, nor did I ...
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Could an aircraft 'hide' in the aircraft shadow of another aircraft without being detected or noticed?

I just finished reading an interesting post where the author suggests that the missing Malaysian Airlines flight 370 could have 'hidden' under the cover of Singapore Airlines flight 68 to fly to a ...
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ASTERIX category 240 fields placement in a UDP packet

I searched the placement of ASTERIX Category 240 radar video data fields in a UDP packet. But I cannot find any useful info. Is there a standard for this work?
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Can a helicopter mask itself from radar?

I have read somewhere that if a helicopter is traveling under 100 km/h and below 5 meters AGL then most radars will ignore it. From what I understand of this process, the radars can pick up things ...
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What is meant by a fused radar track?

Can anyone explain what a fused track is from the perspective of radar?
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In track while scan mode of radar operation what are the methods to predict next position of target?

In a track while scan system (TWS) the algorithm states that the processor predicts the next position of the target and compares it with the actual position but what are the actual methods of ...
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What is the relation between clouds and radar effectiveness?

Recently, India's prime minister Narendra Modi commented on how cloudy weather can help a fighter jet escape from radar. Is there any technical reasoning to back these comments? Here is the quote ...
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Is it possible for ATC to see who’s transmitting on the radio on their radar?

I don’t think ATC currently has the capability of seeing who’s actually transmitting on the frequency. If technology permits (probably by making a connection between the radios and the transponder), ...
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How is radar separation assured between primary and secondary targets?

Air traffic control radars come in two flavours, with most ATC centers using both and displaying the output of both on a single screen: Primary surveillance radar (PSR) is a true radar system, which ...
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Do military jets' radar jammers block their own radar? And, if not, why not?

Will a noise jammer block the fighter's own radar? If I have understood it, a noise jammer, e.g., a barrage jammer, will emit a noise signal across a wide frequency band. Won't this make it hard to ...
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How fast do the F-35 weapons bay doors open/close during combat ops?

(YouTube) I came across the following Norwegian F-35 video launching a live missile from its right bay door. Of course, opening the door and launching the missile drastically increases RCS, but it ...
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Why is the AWACS' rotodome located at the back and over the aircraft?

Browsing this website, I found this question dealing with torque due to the huge piece in motion, and its answers also speak of drag. The rotodome is located above the aircraft and at the aft of the ...
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Will a Secondary Surveillance Radar be affected by a 300m high wind turbine?

60 wind turbines are located at a distance of about 30 km away from a Secondary Surveillance Radar installation; what will be the impact of this? My less than stellar knowledge of radar systems tells ...
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What does the ASDE-X ground radar unit look like?

Above is a picture of a primary / secondary surveillance radar combo (top is secondary, bottom is primary). What does the ASDE-X radar unit look like in real life?
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Why doesn't a radar-equipped Tower say “radar contact”?

Most/all of the control towers in my area have radar displays, and I know from visits that it shows all the same things as in TRACON miles away--even aircraft on the ground. I hear them occasionally ...
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Does weather radar scare off birds?

I was told a long time ago that having the weather radar turned on when at low altitudes helps to scare birds out of your way because the can sense/feel the radar. Casey also mentioned this in ...
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Does the F-4E Phantom II have a weather radar?

Here's the cockpit of the F-4E: The Main Panel NO7 says "Radar Scope" and when you put your mouse cursor on that "magician globe", the X-Plane 8.15 tooltip says "Weather Radar". So, what is that ...
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How does the weather radar work?

I was reading this question about turbulence and how pilots foresee it, and in one of the answers, @Rhino Driver states: Weather Radar Just like using your eyes, except the radar can see further ...
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Is it possible for a modern commercial airliner to stop being tracked without substantial mechanical failure?

I was speaking to someone about the MH370 incident, and they suggested that a hijacker could turn off the device that sends the plane's current position, resulting in the appearance of a catastrophic ...
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Do any civilian aircraft use AESA or PESA for weather radar?

Are there any weather radars in civilian aircraft that uses active or passive array techniques? I know that the most of the radar used in the civilian aircraft use doppler effect and latest military ...
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Why can’t air traffic control radars determine the altitudes of primary targets?

There are two types of returns that show up on an air traffic controller’s radar screen: Secondary returns are not, strictly-speaking, radar “returns” at all, but, rather, signals automatically ...
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What data is displayed on civilian ATC radar screens?

I am developping an ATC radar for a simulation. I don't think there is any standard for radars to show aircraft data on radar screens. But there should be general data to show on radar screens. For ...
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Do special procedures exist for commercial pilots flying over Russia?

Since Russia, and in particular the Asian part of it, is huge, I was wondering if there are special procedures for commercial pilots to follow over Russia (in particular and specifically Siberia and ...
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What are these FAA facilities in Seattle doing?

While walking in Discovery Park I discovered this radar dome with FAA notices on its fence. And not far away I cam across this small FAA signed radio antenna and shack. Any idea what these ...
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How does the radio altimeter reading change with the bank angle?

How does the radio altimeter reading change with the bank angle? Following example: Let's say, we're flying at 1000' AGL and a bank angle of 0° above a endless flat surface. The radio altimeter shows ...
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Why were these Hawkeyes flying in a circular pattern?

A couple of months ago I was near the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, when I saw 3 or 4 planes flying in a tight circular pattern. The planes were on the larger side, prop driven and had large ...
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Does the FAA prescribe radar cross-section requirements for civilian aircraft?

Are there any FAA regulations stipulating the minimum permissible radar cross section for civilian aircraft (i.e., making sure that civilian aircraft are at least such-and-such cross-section visible ...
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Does a secondary surveillance radar need the support of a primary surveillance radar?

ATC technologies are evolving to include other components than primary and secondary surveillance radars, but I believe these two pieces of equipment are still the backbone of ATC. Primary radar (PSR, ...
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How does ATC radar display differ from military radar?

Could you summarize what sort of data/objects are present in one type of display but not another? (not asking about construction differences, just the user-facing end, the display/interface.) A ...
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How can a single misplaced screw so massively increase a stealth aircraft's radar cross-section?

In this comment on one of the answers to an earlier question of mine, @CarloFelicione points out how even the tiniest of imperfections can make a stealth aircraft much more visible to radar: A ...
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Maximum Altitude/Minimum Range limits of ATC PSR

I am trying to get an understanding of the ability of an air traffic control primary radar such as an ATCR-33 to track high flying targets (above 40,000 feet) at relatively close ranges (less than 15 ...
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What is the response time of Pulse Doppler Radar?

We have the Airborne Pulse Doppler radar for weather predictions which are I think same as in the A350s and also in fighter jets so, what is the response time of these radars? For example, if a ...
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Why does the radome on the AWACS rotate?

I'm not sure I understand why the radome on the AWACS aircraft is so large, and could somebody explain the design and why it has to rotate?
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Could an AN/APG-79 AESA radar “lock-on” a single bird?

Could a fighter pilot in 2015 using an AN/APG-79 AESA radar "lock-on" a single bird? I know that modern radars like the AN/APG-79 in modern combat aircraft like the F/A-18F filter out false alarms ...
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Is there a database of European surveillance radar installations?

Does anybody know a link to a database or appropriate webpage where I can find the locations of surveillance radar installations in Europe?
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Does the radar altimeter's position affect its accuracy?

I have seen the location of the radar altimeter is different between Airbus and Boeing. Airbus has it almost at the tail, Boeing has it forwards. I would like to know which one gives the height more ...