Apple Valley FAA Radar Site
Apple Valley FAA Radar Site (1960s-Active) - A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Long Range Radar (LLR) site established between 1959 and 1966 near Apple Valley, Dakota County, Minnesota. 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 an FAA ID of ZQJE. Active FAA Radar Site.
This site became an FAA radar site between 1959 and 1966, furnishing radar track data to the FAA ARTCC's and to USAF Direction Centers. The initial FAA ARSR-1 search radar was later modified to become an ARSR-1E and remained in operation until it was modified 23 Aug 2012 to become a Common Air Route Surveillance Radar (CARSR) with a 7172 antenna.
When first built this site was literally out in the woods but today it is in the middle of a housing area on a small 1.15-acre lot surrounded by residential homes. Historical aerial photographs show the radar site in 1966 but the 1957 version shows no radar site at all.
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. Note: This site was probably equipped with the FYQ-49, a version of the FYQ-47 without the height-finder interface that was deployed to FAA sites without separate height-finder radars.
The nationwide replacement program converting FAA legacy radar systems to the CARSR radar configuration was completed by 17 Aug 2015 and Apple Valley 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 Apple Valley FAA Radar Site is now operating with the CARSR radar.
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 Minneapolis ARTCC (ZMP) and adjacent ARTCCs. Other federal agencies have access to the data under the Homeland Security umbrella.