Sketchley's Statistics MRG - play stats here ABOUT LINKS logo_macross30th (4K) MAIN INDEX
By AARON SKETCHLEY ( Ver 1.3 2019.05.25

Official Setting information is in darkgreen. Extended Universe information is in steelblue.

Avionics Devices: Radar Systems

Table Of Contents
  • Radar Basics
  • Pulse Doppler Radar
  • Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA)
  • Ladar
  • AWG-20 Radar
  • APG-995 Radar
  • APG-997 Radar
  • APHS-94 Radar
  • LAPR-34 Ladar

  • Radar Basics

    Radar is an object-detection system which uses radio waves to determine the range, altitude, direction or speed of both moving and fixed objects such as aircraft, ships, spacecraft, guided missiles, motor vehicles, weather formations and terrain. The radar antenna transmits pulses of radio waves which bounce off any object in their path. The object returns a tiny part of the wave's energy to a dish or antenna which is usually located at the same site as the transmitter.

    A radar system has a transmitter that emits radio signals in predetermined directions. Radar receivers are usually, but not always, in the same location as the transmitter. Although the reflected radar signals captured by the receiving antenna are usually very weak, these signals are strengthened by electronic amplifiers and other sophisticated methods of signal processing in order to recover useful radar signals.

    The weak absorption of radio waves by the medium through which it passes is what enables radar sets to detect objects at relatively-long ranges, ranges at which other electromagnetic wavelengths, such as visible light, infrared light, and ultraviolet light, are too strongly attenuated. Such things as fog, clouds, rain, falling snow, and sleet that block visible light are usually transparent to radio waves. Certain, specific radio frequencies that are absorbed or scattered by water vapor, raindrops, or atmospheric gases (especially oxygen) are avoided in designing radars except when detection of these is intended.

    Finally, radar relies on its own transmissions, rather than light from the Sun or the Moon, or from electromagnetic waves emitted by the objects themselves, such as infrared wavelengths (heat). This process of directing artificial radio waves towards objects is called illumination, regardless of the fact that radio waves are completely invisible to the human eye or cameras.

    When used for passive detection, the radar shows: In addition, the further a target is away, the longer it takes to receive the bounced back radar beam. If the target is moving fast, they are probably not in that exact position by the time the returned radar signal has been processed and displayed. Most radar systems and FCS compensate for this.

    Using radar WILL alert others to your EXACT location if they are also using radar. Radar is only useful for line-of-sight searches (if you are behind a hill, in trees, among buildings, etc. radar cannot spot you; though your radio and radar broadcasts could still be intercepted.)

    If support (AWACS, ELINT Seeker, Capital Ship, Funny Chinese, etc.) is available, it is recommended that players use it for radar targeting. Or players could have 1 VF flying with the radar on (and dodging incoming fire) with one or two escorts to defend it. The radar-using VF then broadcasts tactical data to the other VFs in the squadron.

    Random radar notes: newer craft rely on doppler (detcts air disruption/movement) and FLIR to overcome Active Stealth Systems.

    Pulse Doppler Radar

    Is a 4D radar system capable of detecting both target 3D location as well as measuring radial velocity (range-rate). It uses the Doppler effect to avoid overloading computers and operators as well as to reduce power consumption. RF energy returning from airborne objects and spacecraft are combined for successive target reflections returning from a dozen or more transmit pulses, and these are integrated using Pulse-Doppler signal processing.

    Pulse-Doppler radar is crucial for military applications called look-down/shoot-down, which allows small fast-moving objects to be detected near terrain and weather. The purpose is to detect targets while eliminating hostile environmental influences, such as reflections from weather, the surface of the earth and biological objects like birds, and electronic interference, which hide reflected signals from aircraft but which move much slower than aircraft. A secondary purpose is to to reduce transmit power while achieving acceptable performance for improved safety and stealthy radar.

    Pulse-Doppler radar for aircraft detection has two modes: Scan & Track. Scan mode involves frequency filtering, amplitude thresholding, and ambiguity resolution. Once a reflection has been detected and resolved, the pulse-Doppler radar transitions to tracking mode. Track mode works like a phase-locked loop, where Doppler velocity is compared with the range movement on successive scans. Lock indicates the difference between the two measurements is below a threshold, which can only occur with an object that satisfies Newtonian mechanics. Other types of electronic signals cannot produce a lock.

    Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA)

    A type of phased array radar whose transmitter and receiver functions are composed of numerous small solid-state transmit/receive modules (TRMs). [Phased array radar is an array of antennas in which the relative phases of the respective signals feeding the antennas are varied in such a way that the effective radiation pattern of the array is reinforced in a desired direction and suppressed in undesired directions.]

    AESAs aim their "beam" by broadcasting radio energy that interfere constructively at certain angles in front of the antenna. They improve on the older passive electronically scanned radars by spreading their broadcasts out across a band of frequencies, which makes it very difficult to detect over background noise. AESAs allow ships and aircraft to broadcast powerful radar signals while still remaining stealthy.

    AESA are able to do this because each module broadcasts its own independent signal. This allows the AESA to produce numerous "sub-beams" and actively "paint" a much larger number of targets. Additionally, the solid-state transmitters are able to broadcast effectively at a much wider range of frequencies, giving AESAs the ability to change their operating frequency with every pulse sent out. AESAs can also produce beams that consist of many different frequencies at once, using post-processing of the combined signal from a number of TRMs to re-create a display as if there was a single powerful beam being sent. Advantages are:



    space and fog/cloud free night sky only.

    AWG-20 Radar

    Is a mechanically scanned X-Band Pulse Doppler radar system designed for the F-14 Tomcat and installed on the initial VFs. It is an anti-air, anti-ground, anti-space, anti-alien, all-weather multi-mode airborne radar system. It is also capable of guiding several missiles at the same time to target. The antenna dish is a 91 cm wide planar array, with integrated IFF antennas. There are several search and tracking modes available, such as Track-While-Scan (TWS), Range-While-Search (RWS), Pulse-Doppler Single-Target Track (PDSTT), Jam Angle Track (JAT), gun director, and raid assessment (which enables the operator to expand the region centred on a single tracked target, permitting radar separation of closely spaced targets). Air-to-surface modes include Doppler beam sharpened sector and patch mapping, medium range synthetic aperture radar, fixed and moving ground target track and sea surface search. (VF-0, VF-1)

    APG-995 Phased Array Radar

    For the VF-4. An all-weather multimode airborne radar system composed of 5,000 pieces. This X band (8 to 12 GHz) pulse-Doppler radar system is designed for both air-to-air and air-to-surface missions. For air-to-air operations they incorporate a variety of search, track and track-while-scan modes to give the pilot a complete look-down/shoot-down capability. Air-to-surface modes include Doppler beam sharpened sector and patch mapping, medium range synthetic aperture radar, fixed and moving ground target track and sea surface search. The radar provides a high level of aircrew situational awareness. The beam of the AESA radar provides nearly instantaneous track updates and multi-target tracking capability.

    The APG-995 features an entirely solid-state antenna construction, which improves reliability and lowers the cost compared to a traditional radar system. The APG-995 enables aircrews to simultaneously guide several missiles to several targets widely spaced in azimuth, elevation or range. It has a higher processor throughput, greater memory capacity, bandwidth, frequency agility, higher analogue/digital sampling rates, improved reliability and ease maintenance.

    APG-997 Phased Array Radar

    An improved APG-995 radar for the VF-1. Mainly improved in air-to-ground and high-altitude detection abilities.

    APHS-94 Phased Array Radar

    For the VF-19.

    LAPR-34 Radar

    flash-type LADAR capable of creating 3D images. For the VF-19.

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  • Macross Chronicle
  • This is Animation Special: Macross Plus
  • Great Mechanics and Great Mechanics.DX
  • Variable Fighter Master File: VF-1, VF-1 Space Wings, VF-19 & VF-25
  • Wikipedia

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