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Tasmania gets WAM radar

written by australianaviation.com.au | June 25, 2010

Airservices Australia says that safety in the skies over Tasmania has increased with the commissioning of Australia’s first Wide Area Multilateration (WAM) radar system, which provides enhanced en route surveillance of air traffic across Tasmania at Launceston Airport and down to the surface at Hobart for the first time.

The $6 million system uses 14 dispersed antenna ground stations to determine an aircraft’s position without the need for a traditional rotating radar through the use of multilateration and ADS-B (Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast) technologies.

“The provision of precise aircraft position and identification information will allow air traffic controllers to track aircraft in controlled airspace where radar coverage hasn’t previously been possible,” said Airservices’s general manager technology & asset services Alastair Hodgson.

“Additionally, for the first time in Tasmania ADS-B receiver functionality will provide coverage over most of Tasmania and into Bass Strait.”

The system has been operating for the past 12 months and running in parallel with a temporary transportable radar at Launceston. WAM provides a wider range of surveillance across the state than the partial coverage afforded by the radar. The transportable radar equipment will be redeployed from June 28 to support the refurbishment of air navigation surveillance at other airports.

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