Find a Security Clearance Job!

Space


AN/FPS-17 Space Surveillance Radar

RADC developed the AN/FPS-17 radar system. This was the first surveillance radar system designed to detect objects in space.

The first installation (designated AN/FPS-17, XW-1) at Diyarbakir was originally intended to provide mere surveillance of the USSR's missile test range at Kapustin Yar south of Stalingrad-that is to detect missile launchings. The data it came to produce, however, transcend surveillance, permitting the derivation of missile trajectories, the identification of earth satellite launches, the calculation of a satellite's ephemeris (position and orbit), and the synthesis of booster rocket performance.

The original antenna installation was a large D.S. Kennedy parabolic reflector, 175 feet high by 110 feet wide, radiating in the frequency range 175 to 215 megacycles. Standard GE high-power television transmitters, modified for pulse operation, were used at the beginning. Surveillance was carried out by six horizontal beams over the Kapustin Yar area.

In 1958 a second antenna, 150 feet high by 300 feet long, and new 12-megawatt transmitters were installed as part of a modification kit which provided three additional horizontal beams, a seven-beam vertical fan, and greater range capability.

The electrical characteristics of 
each of the channels can be recapped as follows:  
                                    
Frequency ................................ 175-215 megacycles    
Peak power per beam ....................... 1.2 megawatts    
Pulse length .............................. 2000 microseconds   
Pulse repetition rate ..................... 30 cycles per second   
Duty cycle (portion of time transmitting )    0.06    
Beam width (horizontally elongated) ...... 2.5 x 1.8    
Beam width (vertically elongated) .......... 1 x 2    
Pulse compression ratio ....................  100:1          
Range accuracy .............................. within 5 nautical miles  

The success achieved by this fixed-beam radar has led to the co-location with it of a tracking radar (AN/FPS-79) which, beginning in mid-1964, has given an additional capability for estimating the configuration and dimensions of satellites or missiles and observing the reentry of manned or unmanned vehicles.

In May 1960 the AN/FPS-17 Detection Radar on Shemy AFB became operational. Have Stare was apparently considered for installation at Pirinclik, Turkey, which currently operates an American AN/FPS-79 tracking radar, following the December 1995 decommissioning of its AN/FPS-17 system.




NEWSLETTER
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list