The Transmitting Set AN/SPN-41A is an electronic landing aid that provides proper flight path data to an approaching aircraft as the aircraft flies into range of ownship radar landing system or into visual contact with ownship optical landing system.
The AN/SPN-41A has two separate transmitters (azimuth and elevation) with individual antennas used for sector scanning. The azimuth transmitter is installed on the ship's stern at the centerline of, and slightly below the landing deck runway; while the elevation transmitter is located above the flight deck in the vicinity of the after end of the island to provide the glide slope signal.
The AN/SPN-41A uses one-way transmission, ship to air, to a receiver in the aircraft where the angular information is displayed on a cross-pointer indicator. With the vertical needle for azimuth guidance and the horizontal needle for vertical guidance, the aircraft becomes perfectly aligned with the runway centerline, on a standard glide path to the ship's deck, when both needles are precisely centered. Though not technically a radar system, the AN/SPN-41A operates utilizing pulse mode in the Ku-band.
AN/SPN-41 and AN-SPN-41A systems are installed aboard CV, CVN, LHA, and LHD class ships. The AN/ARA-63 aircraft approach control system uses the AN/SPN-41 and the AN/TRN-28 transmitting sets. It provides primary or backup instrument approach capability.
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