ATC Radar System
Table of Contents


In aviation Radio Detection and Ranging (RADAR) plays an important role in air traffic control. Radar can be divided into two major two categories: Conventional and Modern Radar systems (Chevalier, (2002 2).

Conventional Radar System Modern Radar System
92334,1190905668,2.jpg Picture embeded from Alcione on 1 June 2009 radarsc0.jpg Picture embeded from Shutterstock on 1 June 2009
Invented: 1930s by Britain Invented: 1960s
Principle: Radar system sends out radio waves to detect moving objects in the air. When the echo comes back, time is measured and distance is calculated. This process continues. Principle: Same as conventional radar. However, the aircraft carries a transponder and when echo comes back; the system can detect the identity, altitude and headings of the aircraft.
Single radar is used Primary and Secondary Surveillance radar (Wikipedia, 2009 1)
Accident: The worst mid-air collision – Chakhi Dadri collision – in 1996 over India: the air traffic control had a conventional radar system that did not provide altitudes of two aircraft. Accident: Uberlingen Disaster in 2002 (mid-air collision). Traffic control had the altitudes of the aircraft, however, did not realize that the aircraft were coming in contact horizontally. Modern radar system yet to be improved to provide a three dimensional view of airspace.
1. Wikipedia. (2009). Secondary surveillance radar. Retrieved from on 1 June, 2009.
2. Chevalier, F. L. (2002). Principles of radar and sonar signal processing. Boston, London: Artech House

Want to know more?

Australian Radar detector store

Contributors to this page

Authors / Editors



Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License