The Plains FAA Radar Site
The Plains FAA Radar Site (1980-Active) - A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Long Range Radar (LRR) site first established in 1980 near The Plains, Fauquier County, Virginia. 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-318, a JSS ID of J-50, and an FAA ID of QPL. Active FAA Radar Site.
This site became an FAA radar site in January 1980, furnishing radar track data to the FAA ARTCCs and to USAF Direction Centers. The site is located on a government-owned 2.87-acre lot along the Bull Run Mountain Road.
The official FAA ARSR-3 commissioning date was said to be 1 Mar 1982. The site was brought into the JSS System as one of five "data-tied" sites (without height-finder or mode 4 capability). The initial FAA ARSR-3 search radar remained in operation until it was modified to become a CARSR radar with a 9200S Antenna.
The nationwide replacement program converting FAA legacy radar systems to the CARSR radar configuration was completed by 17 Aug 2015 and Plains 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 Plains 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 Washington DC ARTCC (ZDC) and adjacent ARTCCs. Other federal agencies have access to the data under the Homeland Security umbrella.
Active FAA facility near The Plains in Fauquier County, Virginia.