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How Radar Scopes have Changed because of Human Factors

How Radar Scopes have Changed because of Human Factors
There have been many advances in the Air Traffic Control (ATC) system since it was started, but none as important as the radar.When radar wasfirst presented, all that could be seen on the radar scope was a "blip."This blip was cause by anything in the path of the radar waves such as an airplane.Tops of trees, towers, or even some types of birds could bee seen as blips.To be sure that the controller was talking to the right aircraft, he would ask the pilot to do a series of turns.Once the correct blip was identified, the controller would then place a transparent plastic tab with the aircrafts identity by hand on the scope.This tab was nicknamed the "shrimp boat" because of its shape (Hopkin, 25).After the blip changed positions the shrimp boat had to be moved by hand to the new location of the blip.Since these tabs had to be placed on the scope, the scopes had to be positioned in a horizontal fashion.This made it hard to see the top of the scope.
The human workload was greatly reduced when secondary surveillance radar replaced the out of date primary radar.Secondary radar depicted the position, heading, relative speed, and aircraft identity.This helped to fade out those workload enhancing shrimp boats.Once the shrimp boats were gone there was no reason the scopes had to be horizontal.All new scopes were being made to stand up right in a vertical fashion so that the entire scope could be seen with ease.This new type of radar could also distinguish between background information such as trees and delete them from the scope.Geographical, danger, and restricted areas can also be added to the secondary scopes so that the controllers' workload is lessened.For example, if a controller asks a pilot to fly down the coastline for some distance, he can watch to make sure the pilot doesn't stray from the coast.The al…

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