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Airborne Range Stations for Control of Nuclear Missile Test Vehicles

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2 Author(s)
Hesse, W.J. ; Nucleonic Systems Chance Vought Corporation Dallas, Texas ; Boyer, L.J.

A cardinal principle of nuclear ramjet powered missile flight tests is full-time, radar tracking and radio-command control of the missile's flight path supplemented by multiple, fail-safe flight termination systems to maintain the missile within a localized test area where nuclear radiation will not endanger the civilian population. The number of range stations to fulfill this service would become excessive if surface stations were used due to radio-line-of-sight limitations. Airborne range stations represent the best solution; and, under certain conditions of very low altitude flight, the only practical approach to fulltime tracking and control. A turbojet airplane of the Boeing C-135 type suitably equipped with radar, telemetry receivers, radio-command control and communications equipment can function as an independent command control center or as a relay station between the missile and a surface control center. This flexibility of operation enhances the reliability of the overall range system. Existing range technology is adequate; however, integration of functions with a high degree of reliability onboard a single airplane is necessary.

Published in:

Nuclear Science, IRE Transactions on  (Volume:9 ,  Issue: 1 )

Date of Publication:

Jan. 1962

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