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Design of an orbital debris radar ground demonstration

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5 Author(s)
Paz, I. ; Lockheed Eng. & Sci. Co., Houston, TX, USA ; Carl, J.R. ; Shaw, R.W. ; Kovitz, J.K.
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The authors describe a breadboard radar system that is being designed and tested at the Johnson Space Center for dealing with the space debris problem that could present a growing threat to the planned Space Station Freedom. The major problems that the design of such a system faces are due to the small radar cross section (RCS) of such debris (below -30 dBm/sup 2/), the high closing velocities of the particles with respect to the space station (10 km/sec and higher), and the stringent constraints imposed on its implementation as a spaceborne system. These constraints include weight, prime power consumption, maintenance, and reliability. The authors discuss the preliminary implementation of a ground demonstration radar for testing concepts, technologies, and performance envelopes that will eventually carry over to the space-borne debris detection and tracking radar. Simulation results and techniques developed for predicting system performances and for evaluating antenna parameters are given. The design process of the electronically steered phased array antenna is briefly described and block diagrams for the implementation of the radar system are given.<>

Published in:

Aerospace Applications Conference, 1989. Digest., 1989 IEEE

Date of Conference:

12-17 Feb. 1989

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