Silver City FAA Radar Site
Silver City FAA Radar Site (1966-Active) - A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Long-Range Radar (LLR) site first established in 1966 on Brushy Mountain near Mule Creek, Grant County, New Mexico. 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 a SAGE System ID of Z-238 and in 1972 Z-245, an FAA ID of SVC and a JSS System ID of J-28. Active FAA Radar Site.
This site became an FAA radar site in 1966, furnishing radar track data to the FAA ARTCC's and to USAF Direction Centers. The initial FAA ARSR-2 search radar remained in operation until it was modified to become a Common Air Route Surveillance Radar (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 equipped with an ARSR-2 search radar and a CD-2A Common Digitizer. The Silver City CD-2A was scheduled to receive an upgrade kit to implement three level weather data processing in July 1992.
In 1972 a USAF FPS-90 Height-Finder radar was installed at this site to provide target height information to the newly formed Southern Air Defense Sector (SADS). SADS operated from the Houston Manual NORAD Control Center co-located with the Houston ARTCC. The FPS-90 height-finder was maintained and operated by elements of the 4629th Air Defense Squadron (ADS) from Luke AFB and in 1975 by OL-AG of the 26th ADS. The FPS-90 later became an FPS-116 before being removed circa 1988.
This site was a designated Joint Surveillance Site (JSS) J-28 that was to have been replaced by a new ARSR-4 radar site at Deming, NM designated J-28A. Normally the original J-28 site would have been removed from the JSS system but the events of 911 brought it back in 2011, keeping the original J-28 JSS designation.
The nationwide replacement program converting FAA legacy radar systems to the CARSR radar configuration was completed by 17 Aug 2015 and Silver City 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 Silver City 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 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 Albuquerque ARTCC (ZAB) and adjacent ARTCCs. Other federal agencies have access to the data under the Homeland Security umbrella.
Active FAA facility on Brushy Mountain near the small town of Mule Creek in Grant County, New Mexico.