A tower is surrounded by solar panels and storage units.

Press Release: Thales to deploy solar-powered ATC radar station in Chile

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Press Release hub banner blue with title in red white and blueThales, 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.


“Thales strives to deliver the best-in-class solutions for ATC radars with the latest technological innovations, for the highest detection capabilities and altimetry, as well as working on sustainable projects. Today’s climate and energy constraints means new ways of doing things and we are proud to contribute to the world’s first ATC radar contributing to a greener and more sustainable air travel future for the DGAC in Chile, as well as improving the safety of Chilean skies”  Lionel De Castellane, Head of Civil Radars Thales Worldwide.

About Thales

Thales (Euronext Paris: HO) is a global leader in advanced technologies, investing in digital and “deep tech” innovations – connectivity, big data, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and quantum technologies – to build a confident future crucial for the development of our societies. The Group provides its customers – businesses, organizations and governments – in the defense, aeronautics, space, transport, and digital identity and security domains with solutions, services and products that help them fulfil their critical role, consideration for the individual being the driving force behind all decisions.

Thales has 81,000 employees in 68 countries. In 2021, the Group generated sales of €16.2 billion.

Featured image credited to Thales