Ashton FAA Radar Site

From FortWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Ashton FAA Radar Site (1963-Active) - An FAA Radar Site first established in 1963 on Sawtell Peak near Island Park, Fremont County, Idaho. Initially assigned a SAGE ID of Z-225 and an FAA ID of ZQVA. Active FAA Radar Site.

Ashton FAA Radar Site on Sawtell Peak


This site became an FAA/ADC joint-use site dedicated on 17 Aug 1963. It furnishes radar track data to the FAA and is data tied to USAF Direction Centers. The initial ARSR-2 radar equipment has been upgraded to a CARSR.

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 shown equipped with a ARSR-1E search radar (probably an error, should have been an ARSR-2) and a CD-2A Common Digitizer. The Ashton CD-2A was scheduled to receive an upgrade kit to implement three-level weather data processing in March 1992.

Mode S Beacon System

Mode S Equipment Typical Installation

The Ashton FAA Radar Site was selected in the 1990s to become one of 21 long-range radar sites to have a Mode S radar beacon system installed. The Mode S system allowed operation in the existing beacon modes but added features to improve beacon operation by allowing aircraft identification with a single interrogation and two-way digital communication between controllers and pilots.

Besides the 21 long-range sites, there were other short-range radars to be upgraded for a total of 137 sites on the implementation list. Ashton was #137 on the list, scheduled to receive the Mode S equipment on 30 Aug 1995. Installation required interfacing with the radar system, addition of a beacon antenna on top of the search radar antenna, a new larger radome, interfacing with the Common Digitizer (CD-2) if installed, additional communication lines and equipment.


The nationwide replacement program converting FAA legacy radar systems to the CARSR radar configuration was completed by 17 Aug 2015 and Ashton 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 Ashton 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-2 and the CARSR conversion included a 7172 Antenna. The secondary radar for the site is the Mode S Beacon set.

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 Salt Lake City ARTCC (ZLC) and adjacent ARTCCs. Other federal agencies have access to the data under the Homeland Security umbrella.

Ashton FAA Radar Site Major Equipment List
Search Radar Data Systems IFF/SIF/Beacon

Current Status

Active facility on Sawtell Peak near Island Park, Fremont County, Idaho. Now equipped with a CARSR radar.

Location: Near Ashton in Fremont County, Idaho.

Maps & Images

Lat: 44.5625 Long: -111.44472

  • Multi Maps from ACME
  • Maps from Bing
  • Maps from Google
  • Elevation: 9,905'

GPS Locations:

See Also:


  • Winkler, David F., Searching the Skies: the Legacy of the United States Cold War Defense Radar Program, USAF Hq Air Combat Command, 1997, 192 pages, Pdf, page 112.
  • Hall, Pat, Public Invited to Dome Ceremony, Idaho State Journal (Pocatello, Idaho), 16 Aug 1963, Page 24.


Fortification ID:

  • ID0001 - Ashton FAA Radar Site

Visited: 14 Jun 2015

Personal tools