Benson FAA Radar Site
Benson FAA Radar Site (1960s-Active) - A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Long Range Radar (LRR) site first established in the 1960s near Benson, Johnston County, North Carolina. 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 QRL. Active FAA Radar Site. Also known as Raleigh FAA Radar Site.
This site became an FAA radar site in the 1960s, furnishing radar track data to the FAA ARTCCs and to USAF Direction Centers. The initial FAA ARSR-1 search radar was upgraded to an ARSR-1E configuration and remained in operation until it was modified to become a CARSR radar.
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 equipped with a ARSR-1E Common Digitizer CD-2A. The Benson CD-2A was scheduled to receive an upgrade kit to implement three level weather data processing in October 1992.
The nationwide replacement program converting FAA legacy radar systems to the CARSR radar configuration was completed by 17 Aug 2015 and Benson 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 Benson 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-1E and the CARSR conversion included a 7172 Antenna. The secondary radar for the site is the ATCBI-6 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 Washington DC ARTCC (ZDC) and adjacent ARTCCs. Other federal agencies have access to the data under the Homeland Security umbrella.