Selex upgrades ATC radars in the UK to avoid disruption from 4G network

28 August 2013 (Last Updated August 28th, 2013 18:30)

Selex has upgraded over half of the UK's air traffic management (ATM) S-band radars to prevent interference from 4G mobile network.

ATC Tower

Selex has upgraded over half of the UK’s air traffic management (ATM) S-band radars to prevent interference from 4G mobile network.

The company secured the contract from the UK Ministry of Defence for military airports and was sponsored by the Department for Transport for civilian airports.

Completion of the upgrade makes the radars in London and the South East of England ready for the launch of 4G services scheduled to be rolled out from 29 August 2013.

Selex has developed a defence solution, called ‘remediation’, for four UK-based radar types including the Watchman, S511, AR15 and ATCR33, which collectively constitute over 50% of the country’s ATM radars.

The remediation solution enables radar operations in the 2.7MHz to 3.6MHz band, while also ensuring they are not affected by 4G wireless LTE transmissions.

Deployed by air traffic control centres to locate and direct aircraft, the ATM radars operate in the 2.7GHz band, next to 4G network’s 2.6Ghz band for mobile phones.

Selex security and smart systems division Customer Relationships EVP Mike Bradshaw said that the company has delivered all of the modification kits to the MoD ahead of schedule and are progressing well towards having all of the nominated UK air traffic management radars modified by the 30 September deadline.

"The continued success of the programme will allow the UK government to roll out the 4G network on schedule while air traffic management radars across the UK continue to operate normally," Bradshaw said.

Selex will also upgrade radars in Shetland Islands towards Northern UK, and as far West as Newquay, ahead of the 4G roll out across the nation.

During February 2013, NATS also upgraded its radar systems to avoid disruptions from 4G spectrum, while also checking that 4G masts were not interfering with radar screens.

Image: The upgrade would prevent interference of frequency of S-band radars with the upper band 4G network.