Thales to Deploy the World’s First Fully Sustainable, Solar-Powered ATC Radar Station in Calama, Chile

Thales, a global technology leader, is advancing air traffic surveillance and safety in Chile with a revolutionary new radar station 100% powered by sustainable solar energy. Located in Calama, in the Atacama Desert, the first of its kind radar system leverages 330 solar panels to take full advantage of the high levels of sunshine in the region.  

Developed by Thales for the Dirección General de Aeronáutica Civil (DGAC), the civil aviation authority of Chile, the solar-powered radar station is comprised of an advanced and efficient Star NG primary radar, as well as an RSM secondary radar. Combined, the radars provide all the operational surveillance requirements of both civil and military air traffic control and detects both slow and fast-moving targets such as helicopters, commercial planes, and jets. The system also delivers windfarm mitigation filters.

The innovation in terms of alternate and greener power generation is a solution that comprises not only a set of solar panels, but  an efficient and comprehensive power management system that could be employed on different sites. Advanced battery technology, as well as back-up generators are deployed to secure the overall radar station operations and safeguard it against power outages or limited availability of regular sources.