COMPASS Description/Demo

Radar Siting System (RSS/COMPASS)
Radar Support System (RSS) | Wind Turbine Mitigation | Computer Aided Siting System (COMPASS)

Radar Support System (RSS)

TSC’s Radar Support System (RSS) is a computer workstation that uses radar performance models and three-dimensional terrain and cultural databases to locate optimal sites for En-route and Airport Surveillance Radars. The workstation is designed for non-technical personnel to operate, and predicts radar performance in a variety of graphical and tabular formats.

The RSS determines:

• Optimum radar location and height
• Radar performance at specified site
• Sources of radar performance problems
• Impact of proposed construction on radar
• Optimum control tower location

The TSC RSS is installed in all of the nine FAA regions, and has been used to site airport air and ground surveillance radars for the FAA, as well as for foreign and aerospace industry customers. Originally designed to site air traffic control radar and beacons, the software has been leveraged in many related analyses including laser range safety, radar performance, and airport security.

The RSS was recently enhanced to analyze potential obscurations at ASR-11 radar sites to determine if air easements need to be purchased to restrict the construction of buildings that would interfere with the radar’s performance. The RSS computes the maximum building height allowable under current FAA regulations. Combined with other RSS outputs, this capability provides valuable insight into what property rights should be purchased, and has the potential to save the FAA millions of dollars. The FAA is currently funding TSC to include ADS-B (Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast) and multilateration sensors into the suite of models available, and to develop site selection aids for the multilateration sensors. The RSS is also being enhanced to export performance plots into an ARCmap GIS utility.

TSC developed a commercial version of the RSS, designated the Computer Aided Siting System or COMPASS. COMPASS is currently being utilized by several international aviation authorities. Sensor models have been developed for non air traffic control radars, including the LSTAR for Syracuse Research Corporation and various proposed experimental radars.

COMPASS and RSS require high quality terrain and cultural databases to achieve maximum benefit. To satisfy the need for low priced, but reliable and accurate specialized databases, TSC employs a softcopy photogrammetry facility in Indiana or out-sources this work to commercial vendors. Currently there are over 100 RSS databases of US and Canadian airport areas which include a 3D representation of the buildings, as well as a high resolution DEM. Although typically covering an area of 400 sq miles, these databases range in size from 800 sq miles, down to 25 sq miles for ASDE radar evaluations.

Wind Turbine Mitigation

TSC has developed wind turbine models for the RSS tool to assess the impact of wind turbine interference on ATC and marine radars for the FAA, US Coast Guard and others.  This work includes modeling the Radar Cross-Section (RCS) and Doppler spectrum of large wind turbines as a function of wind direction, wind speed and blade orientation.  Under contract to the FAA, TSC developed and incorporated a detailed model of radar performance into the RSS that evaluates the impact of radar scattering from wind turbines.  The impact on various radars has also been analyzed by TSC, including the ASRS-1/2 and 4 and the ASR-8, 9 and 11. The clutter return from each wind turbine is calculated based on the RCS model of the blades and support structure, which can be determined from design specifications or CAD drawings. TSC has developed numerous such wind turbine models. A simple parametric wind turbine model can also be employed. TSC has successfully used the RSS and wind turbine models to analyze the impact of wind farms on airport radars in Chicago, IL and Palm Springs, CA. TSC is currently enhancing the RSS wind turbine analysis capability to  model specific wind turbines of interest to the FAA and others.

In an associated project for the Coast Guard, TSC assessed the impact on maritime navigation radars of a large proposed wind farm in Nantucket Sound. To perform this study, TSC obtained a CAD model of the turbine, modified it to reflect the proposed tower dimensions, and refined the model to make it suitable for determining the RCS of this turbine. The RCS was then computed at suitable elevation and azimuth angle spacing to provide a worst-case interference analysis. This study was repeated for both X and S-band radars on various vessels to demonstrate the ghost target reflections.

TSC also holds a patent on an innovative method for mitigating the effects of wind turbines on radar. This method utilizes knowledge of the turbine blade orientation with respect to the radar LOS and scan timing to minimize backscattering from the blades [No. 12/320,733, dated 13 Aug 2009]. TSC has also investigated radar signal processing techniques for mitigating wind turbine interference on air and ground-based radars.


Computer Aided Siting System (COMPASS)

The worlds leading sensor siting and performance analysis tool now available on a PC Platform
Compass is the export version of TSC's Radar Support System (RSS) and offers the same comprehensive sensor siting and analysis capabilities.  COMPASS determines:

· Optimum radar location and height
· Radar performance at specified site
· Sources of radar performance problems
· Impact of proposed construction on radar
· Optimum control tower location

COMPASS also supports other sensors and serves as a GIS for airport planning functions.

Click COMPASS Description/Demo for a detailed description of COMPASS including a siting demonstration.

Additional COMPASS features:

For more information contact Dwight Bradford at (301) 576-2339