Odessa FAA Radar Site
Odessa FAA Radar Site (1963-Active) - A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Long-Range Radar (LLR) site established in 1963 near Odessa, Gaines County, Texas. 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. Originally assigned a SAGE System ID of Z-229, later changed to Z-243, a JSS ID of J-26 and an FAA ID of QXS. Active FAA Radar Site also known as Andrews FAA Radar Site.
This site became an FAA radar site in July 1963, furnishing radar track data to the FAA ARTCC's and to USAF Direction Centers. The initial FAA ARSR-1 search radar was later upgraded to become an ARSR-1E model.
In 1972 a USAF FPS-90 Height-Finder radar was installed at this site to provide target height information to the newly formed Southern Air Defense Sector (SADS). SADS operated from the Houston Manual NORAD Control Center co-located with the Houston ARTCC. The FPS-90 height-finder was maintained and operated by Detachment OL-AA of the 630th Radar Squadron and later OL-AA of the 26 ADS. The FPS-90 later became an FPS-116 before being removed circa 1988.
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-1E search radar and a CD-2C Common Digitizer. The Odessa CD-2C was scheduled to receive an upgrade kit to implement three level weather data processing in July 1992.
This site was a designated Joint Surveillance Site (JSS) J-26 that was to have been replaced by a new ARSR-4 radar site at King Mountain designated J-26A. Normally the original J-26 site would have been removed from the JSS system but the events of 911 brought it back in 2011, keeping the original J-26 designation.
The nationwide replacement program converting FAA legacy radar systems to the CARSR radar configuration was completed by 17 Aug 2015 and Odessa 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 Odessa FAA Radar Site is now operating with the CARSR radar. At the time of the CARSR changeout, the legacy radar in place was an [[ARSR-1|ARSR-1E. and the CARSR conversion included a 7172 Antenna. The secondary radar for the site is the ATCBI-6 Beacon set. On 20 Sep 2012, the upgrade of the ARSR-1E radar to the new Common Air Surveillance Radar (CARSR) was reportedly complete.
The radar site data is now available to the USAF/NORAD Battle Control System-Fixed (BCS-F) operations centers (EADS & WADS) as well as the FAA Fort Worth ARTCC (ZFW) and adjacent ARTCCs. Other federal agencies have access to the data under the Homeland Security umbrella.
Active FAA facility near Odessa in Gaines County, Texas.