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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28
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6answers
16k views

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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3answers
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Why do pilots have the ability to turn off the transponder in-flight?

These days, when reading news about missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200, I keep coming across a scenario where pilot might have deliberately turned off the transponder which is used for the ...
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4answers
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Where can I find real-time flight tracking with the least amount of delay?

I am an aviation fan, relatively new to the industry. While I thoroughly enjoy plane spotting at my local KORD airport, at times I tune to LiveATC and Flightaware to get my fix. Unfortunately, my ...
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1answer
7k views

How does IFF work?

How does Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) work? Are radar images of friendly planes recorded, or do friendly planes have transponders on them?
41
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3answers
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Would a homemade lawn chair balloon be visible on ATC and collision avoidance radar?

I am not a pilot, but have a question about radar detection of improvised lawn chair balloons that I thought might be on-topic here. This BBC news article describes a marketing stunt gone awry ...
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1answer
467 views

How does radar receive Mode C information?

I know primary radar of ASR can determine only slant range, so by using Mode C transponder, ATC can know the altitude of aircraft. And I found that if altimeter setting of radar is changed, displayed ...
18
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2answers
10k views

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 ...
9
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4answers
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Where is the airspace not covered by primary Radar?

Most ATC in the world rely primarily on secondary radar to know where planes are. This requires that the transponder on the plane works correctly. This means that maintenance and deployment of ...
19
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4answers
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How are aircraft separated in a non-radar environment?

In remote areas that have no radar (oceanic airspace, etc.) how is aircraft separation maintained so that airplanes don't get too close? What do areas that normally have radar do when there is a ...
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2answers
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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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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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1answer
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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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5answers
931 views

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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2answers
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What is the range and accuracy of ATC radar systems?

What is the average range, accuracy, and update frequency of radar systems used to monitor airspace in the USA? I'm primarily interested in capabilities for tracking smaller general aviation aircraft ...
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3answers
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Why aren't bird radars placed on the front of commercial aircraft?

Unfortunately, my skills and understanding of radar and the like are very limited, but if somebody could enlighten me why there is no such thing as a dual bird/weather radar to switch to? I've ...
9
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1answer
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Do helicopters carry radar equipment? Is so, where is it placed and what type is used?

Do helicopters carry radar equipment and if so, where is it? (e.g. in the nose section like a fixed-wing aircraft). Also what type do they use? (e.g what type of radar would a maritime helicopter ...
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2answers
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What is the regulation related to weather radar use?

I think most commercial aircraft have a weather radar located in the nose cone, like this: (Source: PhotoBucket, by intelmani5) It's well known that radar emissions can be harmful, e.g. one could ...
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5answers
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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?
18
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3answers
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How did the gyro gunsights of WW2 get the range and lead of a target?

I just read this article on the gyro gunsight, but I don't understand how it computed range/position to the target and then calculated how much lead is needed. Surely it must have had radar to get ...
24
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7answers
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Which map projection is typically used on ATC radar screens?

Displaying a (roughly) spherical surface on a flat map turns out to be pretty difficult. There are many different map projections, each with their advantages and disadvantages. Some of the most common ...
23
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4answers
6k views

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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2answers
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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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2answers
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Is “secondary radar” a misnomer?

Radar is based on the principle of transmitting radio waves and measuring the length of time-of-flight, direction, and frequency shift of the returning reflections or echoes. In aviation, we call ...
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2answers
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How does a PESA radar work?

I have been trying to understand how a PESA radar works. Essentially, it uses one signal that is electronically delayed. How is the reception coordinated and known by the receiver? I am interested in ...
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1answer
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What in-flight weather info is available to commercial pilots?

This question was asked yesterday about sources of wx info. The answers focused on sources for pre-flight planning. As weather changes constantly pilots need current wx info en route, especially on ...
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3answers
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Can radar detect a small flying device with MEMS microengines?

I have seen some MEMS micro engines and some micro turbines and I would guess they can be attached to some payload to fly. Is it possible for commercial/military radars to detect those micro flying ...
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2answers
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Why does the radar dome on the E-3 have a white stripe down the middle?

Every picture I can find of the E-3 has a blue/black radar dome on top with a fairly thick white stripe down the middle but I can't figure out why. Is it related to the position of the radar unit ...
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2answers
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How do ATC radars know where to position a primary target?

Primary target: An aircraft not reporting mode-C, the only thing the controller has is the return on the radar. When a controller reports a primary target as traffic to other aircraft, the controller ...
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5answers
851 views

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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2answers
3k views

Does huge rotating AWACS radar affect flight characteristics?

I would think that having a huge mass spinning around should produce massive gyroscopic forces when turning or pitching. There must be some clever way of minimising or eliminating the effects... How ...
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1answer
799 views

What parts of Austrian airspace are not covered by primary radars?

I'm writing a story about the pilot of the Austrian Air Force, who uses his Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft for unintended purposes. In scope of another question we figured out that by turning off the ...
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1answer
309 views

What is the approximate accuracy of ASDE-X?

Can anyone suggest some ballpark figures for estimating the tracking accuracy of ASDE-X systems at airports? Specifically, I'm trying to get a sense of the error (± x meters) that can be expected from ...