By Topic

A Precision Planetary Range-Tracking Radar

Sign In

Full text access may be available.

To access full text, please use your member or institutional sign in.

Formats Non-Member Member
$33 $13
Learn how you can qualify for the best price for this item!
Become an IEEE Member or Subscribe to
IEEE Xplore for exclusive pricing!
close button

puzzle piece

IEEE membership options for an individual and IEEE Xplore subscriptions for an organization offer the most affordable access to essential journal articles, conference papers, standards, eBooks, and eLearning courses.

Learn more about:

IEEE membership

IEEE Xplore subscriptions

1 Author(s)
Robert C. Tausworthe ; Communications Systems Research Section, Jet Propulsion Lab., California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif.

A closed-loop range-locked radar system developed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory has recently had great success range tracking the planet Venus. It has provided measurements to the planetary mean-tracking point with peak minute-to-minute variations less than 2.25 to 3 Km in range. Over a one-hour tracking period, a mean tracking point can be determined to 0.5 km. A scattering-law calibration of the planet is made each day, measuring the mean-tracking-point-to-planetary-surface distance to within 3 km (nominal). The subearth point-to-radar distance is thus measured to a nominal accuracy of 3.5 km. Tracking behaves as a first-order linear ``range-locked'' loop with ephemeris aid, and is practically calibration free. Data obtained during the 1964 conjunction showed that the ephemeris not only contained a range error, but also a range-rate error of 18 km per day. Deviations from this rate correspond to surface features whose height can be estimated. Such data will be invaluable in determining, to a greater degree of accuracy than ever before attainable, the orbital constants of the earth and Venus.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Space Electronics and Telemetry  (Volume:SET-11 ,  Issue: 2 )