Cedar City FAA Radar Site

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Cedar City FAA Radar Site (1962-Active) - A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Long-Range Radar (LLR) site first established in 1962 on Blowhard Mountain above Cedar City, Iron County, Utah. The site is used to identify and track military and civilian aircraft movements within a 200-mile radius and to provide air-ground radio communication with those aircraft. Assigned a SAGE System ID of Z-216 and an FAA ID of CDC. Active FAA Radar Site.

Cedar City NOAA Doppler Weather Radar Site on Blowhard Mountain, UT.
Cedar City FAA Radar Site Viewed from a Cedar Breaks National Monument Viewpoint. Radomes can be seen in the background.
Cedar City FAA Radar Site on Blowhard Mountain, UT.

History

This site was constructed in 1961 and became an operational FAA radar site in 1962, furnishing radar track data to the FAA Salt Lake City ARTCC and to USAF SAGE System Direction Centers. In 1964 a microwave communications link was established to also furnish radar data to the Los Angeles ARTCC at Palmdale, California. By the 1980s the site required a six-man maintenance crew to provide 24/7 coverage.

The initial FAA ARSR-2 search radar remained in operation until it was modified to become a Common Air Route Surveillance Radar (CARSR) reportedly by 25 May 2011.

A FYQ-47 Common Digitizer was probably placed in service by February 1973 when the USAF/FAA FST-2 to FYQ-47 replacement program was completed. By 1990 the site was equipped with an ARSR-2 search radar and a CD-2A Common Digitizer. The Cedar City CD-2A was scheduled to receive an upgrade kit to implement three level weather data processing in April 1992.

Mode S Beacon System

Mode S Equipment Typical Installation

The Cedar City FAA Radar Site was selected in the 1990s to become one of 21 long-range radar sites to have a Mode S radar beacon system installed. The Mode S system allowed operation in the existing beacon modes but added features to improve beacon operation by allowing aircraft identification with a single interrogation and two-way digital communication between controllers and pilots.

Besides the 21 long-range sites, there were other short-range radars to be upgraded for a total of 137 sites on the implementation list. Cedar City was #126 on the list, scheduled to receive the Mode S equipment on 30 May 1995. Installation required interfacing with the radar system, addition of a beacon antenna on top of the search radar antenna, a new larger radome, interfacing with the Common Digitizer (CD-2) if installed, additional communication lines and equipment.

CARSR Radar

The nationwide replacement program converting FAA legacy radar systems to the CARSR radar configuration was completed by 17 Aug 2015 and Cedar City FAA Radar Site was a part of that program. Legacy FAA radars underwent a Service Life Extension Program (SLEP) that replaced key components in the vintage ARSR-1, ARSR-2, FPS-20, FPS-66 and FPS-67 radars. The CARSR program replaced legacy klystron radar transmitters with a solid-state transmitter as well as renovating the radar receiver and signal processor. The CARSR modification also included common digitizer functionality making a separate common digitizer unnecessary. The Cedar City FAA Radar Site is now operating with the CARSR radar.

The radar site data is available to the USAF/NORAD Battle Control System-Fixed (BCS-F) operations centers (EADS & WADS) as well as the FAA Salt Lake City ARTCC, the Los Angeles ARTCC and adjacent ARTCCs.


Cedar City FAA Site Major Equipment List
Search Radar HF Radar Data Systems IFF/SIF/BEACON

Current Status

Active FAA facility on Blowhard Mountain Cedar City in Iron County, Utah. The site can be viewed from the nearby Cedar Breaks National Monument overlook points. The road to the site is a dirt road but navigable by most passenger cars and goes right by the site. Weather is changeable and snow can be encountered October thru June. There are two radar sites on the mountain. As you come up the road to the top of the mountain the FAA site is on the right with the dark radome and on the left is a taller tower with an NOAA weather radar on top covered by a white radome.


Location: On Blowhard Mountain near Cedar City in Iron County, Utah.

Maps & Images

Lat: 37.59322 Long: -112.86378

  • Multi Maps from ACME
  • Maps from Bing
  • Maps from Google
  • Elevation: 10,694'

See Also:

Sources:

Links:

Visited: 18 Oct 2018


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