Eglin Air Force Base begins using full version of STARS

Eglin Air Force Base begins using full version of STARS

By Tony Lee Orr

GCN Staff

The Defense Department last month rolled out its version of the Federal Aviation Administration's Standard Terminal Auto- mation Replacement System.

Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is using the airport approach system, along with ASR-11 digital airport surveillance radar, to monitor arriving and departing aircraft, according to STARS contractor Raytheon Co.

FAA starts small

FAA is implementing a limited version of STARS at small and midsize airports as it continues to tweak the system's user interface [GCN, March 6, Page 12]. The agency in January put into operation the limited version at Hancock International Airport in Syracuse, N.Y.

DOD is installing the first full version, which the department calls its Advanced Automation System.

STARS uses modified versions of Raytheon's AutoTrac and TracView aircraft tracking applications.

The use of STARS at Eglin signals the start of the operational test and evaluation phase for the system, company officials said.

The STARS project is years behind schedule. The original plan called for the system to be in use at 171 sites by 1998. So far, only three sites are using it.

STARS design included air traffic controllers only peripherally in the system development, which led to a false start when the National Air Traffic Controllers Association complained that the system was too difficult to use.

The customized Raytheon applications run under SunSoft Solaris on Sun Microsystems Sparcstations with high-resolution, 20-inch color monitors from Sony Corp. of America of Park Ridge, N.J. STARS terminals hang off a network using routers from Bay Networks Inc. of Santa Clara, Calif.

The modified STARS applications comprise nearly 400,000 lines of custom code written in C and 1.2 million lines of code from the commercial versions of the Raytheon apps.

The ASR-11 is a radar system with primary surveillance coverage up to 60 miles and secondary surveillance coverage up to 120 miles.

FAA and DOD are cooperating on the STARS and ASR-11 projects, with FAA taking the lead on STARS and DOD spearheading ASR-11. The agencies plan to deploy ASR-11 at 213 FAA and DOD air traffic facilities and STARS at 331.

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