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ASDE-1, -2

Description of the radar set, tactical-technical characteristics
frequency: 24 GHz
pulse repetition time (PRT):
pulse repetition frequency (PRF): 5 or 20 kHz
pulsewidth (τ): 20 ns
receiving time:
dead time:
peak power: 40 kW
average power:
instrumented range:
range resolution:
hits per scan:
antenna rotation: 60 min⁻¹
MTBCF: 200 hrs

ASDE-1, -2

ASDE-1 (Airport Surface Detection Equipment) was operating in K-band short range Surface Movement Radar (SMR) designed to provide surveillance of aircraft and surface vehicles at high activity airports under all weather conditions. This capability is especially important during periods of low visibility such as rain, fog, and night operations. This type of radar was fitted in a radome at high point within the airfield. The successor system ASDE-2 had the same main characteristics. At military airfields in the USA, the ASDE-2 was given the designation AN/FPN-31.

ASDE-1 and ASDE-2 has been operational since early sixties. Being a vacuum tube design, it has had a maintenance problem with tube failures, resulting in bad MTBF rate. In addition, the radar is nearly useless in heavy rain due to backscatter from rain droplets, resulting in a “white-out” and to absorption of signals at its emitted frequency by the rain.

The prototype of the ASDE-1 was initially referred to as AN/CPS-8 (XW-1).

Since 1987 until 1994, the aged radar equipment ASDE-1 and -2 were replaced by Westinghouses ASDE-3.