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Aviation Glossary :: ATCRBS  Aviation Glossary :: ATCRBS FAA Written Test Preparation
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ATCRBS
ATCRBS
A device which, by measuring the time interval between transmission and reception of radio pulses and correlating the angular orientation of the radiated antenna beam or beams in azimuth and/or elevation, provides information on range, azimuth, and/or elevation of objects in the path of the transmitted pulses.
  1. Primary Radar- A radar system in which a minute portion of a radio pulse transmitted from a site is reflected by an object and then received back at that site for processing and display at an air traffic control facility.
  2. Secondary Radar/Radar Beacon (ATCRBS)- A radar system in which the object to be detected is fitted with cooperative equipment in the form of a radio receiver/transmitter (transponder). Radar pulses transmitted from the searching transmitter/receiver (interrogator) site are received in the cooperative equipment and used to trigger a distinctive transmission from the transponder. This reply transmission, rather than a reflected signal, is then received back at the transmitter/receiver site for processing and display at an air traffic control facility. (See INTERROGATOR.) (See TRANSPONDER.) (See RADAR.)
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source: FAA Pilot/Controller Glossary

Air Traffic Control Radar Beacon System (ATCRBS): Sometimes called secondary surveillance radar (SSR), which utilizes a transponder in the aircraft. The ground equipment is an interrogating unit, in which the beacon antenna is mounted so it rotates with the surveillance antenna. The interrogating unit transmits a coded pulse sequence that actuates the aircraft transponder. The transponder answers the coded sequence by transmitting a preselected coded sequence back to the ground equipment, providing a strong return signal and positive aircraft identification, as well as other special data.
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source: FAA Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge (FAA-H-8083-25A)


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