ASDE-X (Airport Surface Detection Equipment--Model X) provides air traffic controllers visibility to runways and taxiways to avoid conflicts on the ground
General Dynamics SATCOM Technologies Wortham, Texas manufacturing facility is in the final stages of installing a 150-foot tower at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas to support a new ground traffic safety program called ASDE-X (Airport Surface Detection Equipment-Model X).
ASDE-X is a new safety tool that allows air traffic controllers to detect potential runway conflicts by providing detailed coverage of movement on runways and taxiways. By collecting data from surface movement radar located on the air traffic control tower or remote tower, other sensors and aircraft transponders, ASDE-X is able to determine the position and identification of aircraft and vehicles on the airport surfaces, as well as aircraft flying within 5 miles (8Km) of the airport.
Controllers in the tower see this information presented as a color display of aircraft and vehicle positions overlaid on a map of the airport's runways, taxiways and approach corridors. The system creates a continuously updated map of all airport-surface operations that controllers can use to spot potential collisions.
SATCOM Technologies, working under a contract from Bethel Services, Inc. of Anchorage, Alaska, began construction of the steel tower in August 2009. Installation began in November. Completion of the tower project is projected for June of this year.
Robert Carpenter, Operations and Field Service Manager for SATCOM Technologies Wortham facility, said, "The 150-foot tower provides support for an ASDE-X radar antenna and its electronics. It's erected on a deep, drilled-pier foundation that has all the electrical and utility connections installed. We also provided and installed an extensive electrical grounding system to meet FAA requirements."
"The tower is designed to withstand severe (150-mile per hour) winds and earthquakes," Carpenter added, "so our foundation had to be specified and designed for its own geographical and seismic location to meet the requirements."
Commenting on the completion of the project, Ed Lewis, Construction Project Manager for Bethel Services, Inc., said, "The General Dynamics management personnel are at the top of the companies I have worked with. Their knowledge of what had to be done and the best way to do it was always presented to BSI and sub-contractors as well. I look forward to future opportunities to work with the General Dynamics SATCOM Technologies Wortham facility."
SATCOM Technologies Wortham, Texas facility has an extensive history of building large steel structures for government and commercial applications. Over the years, the Wortham facility has supplied very large pedestals and antenna components for international space exploration terminals, sea-based radar antennas, and a wide variety of steel structures for land and sea-borne communications, radar and telecommunications programs.