Clear AFS, AK
Missile Impact Predictor
Inside Building 102, returned signals were reflected off the radar fence and entered the receivers. From there, the Data Take-Off (DTO) equipment analyzed the returns and "tagged" any potential targets.
The data then entered the heart of the missile warning radar system, the Missile Impact Predictor (MIP). The MIP consisted of two enormous Cyber computers and their support equipment. Although the computing power of the Cybers was considered substantial in their day, they pale in comparison to today's personal computers. The two Cybers shown were actually upgraded from the original equipment in the early 1980s.
The primary duty of the MIP was to run a series of discrimination tests on potential threats to determine if any were a threat to the United States and Canada. If an object passed the tests, the MIP generated a Launch and Predicted Impact (L&PI) report, which was immediately relayed to the operations crew on duty and sent to the Missile Warning Center (MWC) in Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado.
Besides the missile warning mission, the MIPs also ran orbital calculations to perform the spacetrack mission. The paths of the orbiting space objects, which passed through Clear's coverage, could be predicted using mathematical equations. Everyday, the catalog of space objects was updated in the computers to allow the MIP to correlate radar returns to known space objects and to control the Tracking Radar (TR) so that objects could be tracked and the data sent to the Space Control Center (SCC) to aid them in their analysis of orbiting objects. The spacetrack interactions with the MIP were controlled by the Programmer Analyst in the Sat Group, right next to the Cybers.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|