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Radar: the evolution since World War II

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1 Author(s)
R. Strong ; Historical Electron. Museum, Baltimore, MD, USA

Modern radar design has benefited from the evolution of specialized digital processing, allowing high resolution ground mapping, target identification, and target tracking under many conditions. Air-to-air interception makes use of complex decision processes to select from many modes that depend on the clutter backgrounds and flight profiles. Today's multimode radars provide this information for each task while minimizing distractions. Fire control radars support a wide selection of weapons, including cannons and guided missiles. This is possible because of advanced digital processing. In the interval since WW II, radar design evolved from vacuum tubes to semiconductors and then to massively integrated circuits. Computers specialized for fast Fourier transforms (FFTs) have revolutionized radar data processing. System reliability has improved from a few hours to hundreds of hours. Effective built-in test informs ground maintenance personnel of problems for easy maintenance and low failure rates reduce or eliminate field maintenance benches at forward locations. Airborne surveillance radars, such as AW ACS Joint Stars have changed the nature of warfare. Commanders have virtually full view of enemy and friendly forces. Radars, in combination with other remote sensors, provide precise weapon delivery, reducing collateral damage and making all weapons more effective

Published in:

IEEE Aerospace and Electronic Systems Magazine  (Volume:20 ,  Issue: 1 )