New radar provides enhanced air traffic surveillance for the top end

Airservices has commissioned a new secondary terminal area radar near Darwin Airport to provide improved surveillance of air traffic up to 256 nautical miles (474 km) around the city.
The radar, located at Knuckeys Lagoon, will provide air traffic controllers working at Airservices Brisbane Centre with an improved picture of aircraft moving in upper level airspace across the Territory.
Airservices General Manager Technology and Asset Services, Alastair Hodgson, said that the new radar would provide reliable coverage of airspace in the top end.
Mode S technology delivers significant benefits to Airservices and the aviation industry, including higher rates of operational availability, the quality and quantity of the data received, and less frequent maintenance requirements, Mr Hodgson said.
The new radar will enable our air traffic controllers in Brisbane to better manage the airspace in Australias northern Flight Information Region, equivalent to five per cent of the worlds total airspace.
The Darwin radar is the third to be commissioned as part of Airservices national $80 million radar upgrade project.
Work has also commenced on upgrading Sydney terminal area radars, while work is planned to commence on Adelaide terminal area radar in early 2011, with a further four sites to follow.
The new equipment incorporates a Mode S (selective) capable Monopulse Secondary Surveillance Radar with a range of up to 256nm.
This technology allows selective interrogation of individual aircraft and offers the ability to receive Down-linked Aircraft Parameter (DAP) data. It also limits interference in the 1030/1090MHz range of the radio frequency spectrum.

Airservices Brisbane Centre has a strong focus on international air traffic, since all international flights to Australia from North or South America travel through Brisbane airspace, as do a significant share of flights to Australia from Asia.
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