A New Radar Takes Flight

Raytheon's affordable radar gives air traffic operators the big picture

The skies are getting more and more crowded. Raytheon UK has just the system to manage that traffic.

The company's new Condor Mk 3 Monopulse Secondary Surveillance Radar system debuted at the World ATM Congress 2016. It employs advanced technologies to offer unprecedented awareness to air traffic operators, with such features as a higher-duty-cycle transmitter, full Mode S surveillance and built-in Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast technology.

MSSR systems help air traffic controllers separate aircraft and safely keep them apart. What's lacking is a worldwide registry for tracking all the commercial, private and military planes in the sky at any given moment. Flightradar24.com, which only tracks large commercial aircraft fitted with secondary radar, estimates that there are around 10,000 to 11,000 airborne at any given time. To put that in perspective, that adds up to between 2 million and 4 million passengers in the air this very minute, all relying on high-performance navigation systems to guide them safely to their destinations.

Condor Mk 3, which also includes a new primary surveillance radar, gives air traffic operators a better picture of that air traffic and more effective warning function - even though it requires less capital investment and cuts life-cycle costs.

"From the outset, Raytheon designed the Condor Mk 3 with affordability in mind," said Jock Gordon, head of Raytheon UK's Air Traffic Management Systems business. "This new radar fulfils the complete spectrum of requirements, from full turnkey co-mounted solutions to technology refresh programmes. It's designed to extend the life of existing systems without replacing current antennae."

Housed in a single, 19-inch rack, Condor Mk3 takes up less space and cuts power consumption and heat generation by 25 percent. New processing technologies greatly simplify maintenance, allow for less inventory of spares, make the system more reliable and cut the cost of ownership through the life of the equipment. 

Condor Mk 3 covers all standard civil modes and includes Mode 5* for military applications. Its redundant ,fault-tolerant architecture provides high reliability and operational availability. Adaptive false target processing, the system suppresses false targets without degradation in performance.

Raytheon's air traffic control radar systems monitor more than two-thirds of the world’s airspace and are operational in more than 60 countries. The company has more than 65 years of experience in global air traffic management technology, products and services for civil and military customers around the world.

Smaller, more reliable and even more affordable to operate, the imagineering in devising Condor Mk3 demonstrates Raytheon's ongoing, long-term commitment to this market.