CSF Route Surveillance Radar Transmitter - 1960s-1990s
final amplification stage

This photo shows the Melbourne Route Surveillance Radar (RSR), located in the transmitter building on Radar Hill, to the north-west of the runway intersection at Melbourne/Tullamarine Airport. There was a second, backup, transmitter adjacent to this one. Melbourne also had a very similar, duplicated Terminal Area Radar (TAR), of which one transmitter is preserved in the Airways Museum - click here to see and read about it.

This equipment, supplied by French company CSF (later Thomson-CSF), was the first 'standard' air traffic control radar equipment to be installed in Australia. The first of these long-range primary radars was commissioned at Sydney Airport in September 1962. They served Australia’s capital city airports until the early 1990s. The Melbourne radars were in service from 1966 to 1992.

From the early 1970s, the long-range primary radars were supplemented by Secondary Surveillance Radar (SSR).

This RSR was replaced by a 250 NM monopulse SSR located on Mount Macedon.

These radars were used with the Bright Display and ATCARDS air traffic control display systems.


Manufacturer Compagnie Générale de Télégraphie Sans Fil (CSF)
Range 120 NM, later 160 NM
Frequency range 1300 MHz and 1345 MHz (frequency diversity)
Output power 2 Megawatts
Pulse width

1.5 microseconds

Click here to see the antenna system

(Photos: CAHS collection)

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