The Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System (STARS) includes three
functionally different systems:
STARS Central Support Complex (SCSC)
Operational Support Facility (OSF)
STARS Operational Sites (SOS)
STARS Central Support Complex
The SCSC is located at the FAA Technical Center and provides for software
development, testing, and field support.
Operational Support Facility
The OSF is located at NAWCAD St. Inigoes, MD and provides an environment that
supports upgrades and modifications and is tasked with distributing software and
adaptation data to the STARS Operational Sites.
STARS Operational Sites
Each operational site is comprised of numerous computers linked with dual Local Area
Networks (LAN) that accept RADAR and flight plan data and display aircraft movements
on the Tower Display Workstation and Terminal Control Workstation screens.
Each Operational Site has two main parts: the Full Service Level (FSL) system and the
Emergency Service Level (ESL) system. The FSL system is where air traffic control
operations for the Area of Responsibility (AOR) normally take place. The ESL system is
used in the event that the FSL system is unavailable or has decreased ability to perform
Terminal Controller Workstation/Tower Display Workstation
The Terminal Controller Workstation (TCW)/Tower Display Workstation (TDW) runs on
an open-architecture commercial UNIX-based computer. It has the primary function of
displaying RADAR data that has been collected by RADAR sensors and processed by
the RADAR Data Processor (RDP). The processed RADAR data is combined with flight
plan data and presented on a color monitor.
The TCW/TDW workstation is normally assigned a specific volume of airspace--usually
a sector or a combination of sectors--where flights within this airspace are meant to be
controlled by the TCW/TDW controller. The TCW/TDW also provides access to
Supervisor functions. Access to TCW/TDW operations is provided through a control
panel mounted next to the screen and/or keyboard function keys and selectable buttons
called a Display Control Bar (DCB). A moveable screen cursor is used to select specific
RADAR tracks and DCB buttons. The cursor position is controlled by a trackball. The
trackball includes three buttons (left, center, and right).