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What does the controller see on the radarscope when we squawk 1200?

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What does the controller see on the radarscope when we squawk 1200?

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2 Answers

  1. Best Answer

    Heather McNevin on Mar 06, 2014

    Great question. There are two systems that we use at an Air Route Traffic Control Center. One is primary, the other is secondary. Primary is just the radar beam hitting something (we may not know what) and bouncing back. Secondary is the information displayed after our equipment has a conversation with your transponder.

    If you were squawking another code, we see the code change to 1200. If you are just out flying VFR, below 5,000 indicated, our system displays you as a V. If you are indicating above 5,000 our system displays you as an I (for intruder). If you have a Mode C transponder, we will also see what altitude you are indicating in three digits next to your track. If you do not have a transponder, I can still see you in radar, however it is different. You will display as a . Yep, as a tiny dot. Trucks, trains, towers, birds, etc also may appear as a tiny dot. There will be no altitude indicated for primary only radar hits.

    If you are IFR or getting VFR flight following, you will have a track with a data block on our screen. No matter if you are a J3 or an A380, you will display as a small slanted green line that is 1 nm long.

    Approach control facilities use a different computer system, so you look different to them.

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  2. psequeira on Mar 07, 2014

    Very informative thanks Heather

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