A high performance, low cost, air traffic control radar
February 15, 1973
MIT Lincoln Laboratory Report TN-1973-12
Recent improvements in the technology of electronically switched antennas and digital signal processing make possible a relatively high performance, low cost, surveillance radar. The radar described employs an electronically step-scanned, cylindrical antenna together with an advanced digital signal processor to give superior MTI performance at an estimated cost of less than half the present S-band ASRs. The radar output consists of narrow band, digital target reports free of false alarms, suitable for transmission over telephone lines. Remote radar operation using digital, bright, scan-history displays becomes practical as does easy incorporation of beacon and direction finder outputs along with digitally generated video maps. The complete absence of moving parts, the low power transmitter and the largely solid-state construction will provide high reliability and low maintenance costs. These techniques are most easily and economically implemented in the UHF band, but a similar L-band radar can be designed with somewhat increased complexity and cost. The techniques and background studies employed in the design of the proposed radar evolved over a period of three or four years as a result of work for the Air Force under Contract F19628-73-C-0002. Some of these techniques are being applied to improve the MTI performance of the ASR under FAA Contract DOT-FA71WAI-242.