Avian Radar Maintenance: Magnetron Replacement Requirements
Magnetrons are a critical component of current avian radar technologies, providing avian radar systems with the energy that is transmitted and received to identify targets. The current avian radar systems used in an avian radar performance assessment uses X-band marine radars that are based on magnetron technology. Manufacturers recommend regular replacement of magnetrons to maintain radar detection effectiveness. The University of Illinois Center of Excellence for Airport Technology (CEAT) examined the issue of operational effectiveness for magnetrons with short and long operational histories. CEAT found that magnetrons with long operational histories performed at a level consistent with new magnetrons. CEAT recommends that magnetron replacement be based on performance criteria rather than on a fixed schedule or replacement period. Replacement should be made when a magnetron fails to produce consistent detection results when evaluated as part of a regularly scheduled radar health assessment program.
Authors: Edwin E. Herricks, Peter Weber, David Mayer, and Ryan E. King