Phoenix FAA Radar Site
Phoenix FAA Radar Site (1959-Active) - A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Long Range Radar (LRR) site established in 1959 near Phoenix, Maricopa County, Arizona. 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-247, an FAA ID of PHX and a JSS System ID of J-29. Now an active FAA Radar Site. Also Known as Humboldt Mountain FAA Radar Site.
This FAA radar site was commissioned in 1959 to furnish radar track data to the FAA ARTCCs and to USAF Direction Centers. The initial FAA ARSR-1 search radar remained in operation until it was modified to an ARSR-1E configuration. Later modified to become a Common Air Route Surveillance Radar (CARSR) with a 7172 antenna.
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 elements of the 4629th Air Defense Squadron (ADS) from Luke AFB and in 1975 by OL-AF of the 26th ADS. The FPS-90 later became an FPS-116 before being removed circa 1988.
In 1982 an ADTAC listing of sites to be brought into the JSS System included Phoenix FAA Radar Site with an ARSR-1E search radar, an FYQ-47 Common Digitizer, and an ATCBI-5 SIF/IFF (Beacon) set.
This site was to have been replaced by a new ARSR-4 JSS site at Ajo, AZ (J-29A), on the site of former Ajo Air Force Station (Z-181). This site continued to operate even after the Ajo site became operational in the late 1990s. Ajo was designated as JSS Site J-29A and the Phoenix site was to lose the J-29 designation but it was restored with an expansion of the JSS System.
The nationwide replacement program converting FAA legacy radar systems to the CARSR radar configuration was completed by 17 Aug 2015 and Phoenix 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 Phoenix FAA Radar Site is now operating with the CARSR radar. On 6 Dec 2011 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 Albuquerque ARTCC (ZAB) and adjacent ARTCCs. Other federal agencies have access to the data under the Homeland Security umbrella.
Active FAA facility near Phoenix in Maricopa County, Arizona.