The installation of the Advanced Tactical Air Reconnaissance System (ATARS) in the F/A-18D(RC) presented a complex set
of design challenges. At the time of the F/A-18D(RC) ATARS option exercise, the design and development of the ATARS
subsystems and the parameters of the F/A-18D(RC) were essentially fixed. ATARS is to be installed in the gun bay of the
F/A-18D(RC), taking up no additional room, nor adding any more weight than what was removed.
The F/A-18D(RC) installation solution required innovations in mounting, cooling, and fit techniques, which made constant
trade study essential. The successful installation in the F/A-18D(RC) is the result of coupling fundamental design
engineering with brainstorming and nonstandard approaches to every situation.
ATARS is sponsored by the Aeronautical Systems Division, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. The F/A-18D(RC) installation is
being funded to the Air Force by the Naval Air Systems Command, Washington, D.C.