The radar developed by WAD's Armament Laboratory could track a target at a range of 10 miles or less, but had no search capability.
I'm just reading "History of Air Defense Weapons 1946-1962" by Richard F. McMullen (http://www.northcom.mil/FOIA/docs/History%20of%20Air%20Defense%20Weapons,%201946-1962.pdf). On page 316 of the PDF the author says with respect to the F-104A's radar:QuoteThe radar developed by WAD's Armament Laboratory could track a target at a range of 10 miles or less, but had no search capability.Does anybody have any information on how the radar of the F-104A actually worked?Piotr
Dweezil Dwarftosser <email@example.com> wrote:>Quick question:>>Were the rumors about the unusual F-104 radar dish true ?>I never saw one with the radome open.>>- John T., former MSgt, USAF - and member of the 1st, 4th, 15th> 36th, 50th, 56th, 86th, and 388th ( Korat Dive Toss )> Tactical Fighter Wings.>Indeed it was. The first time I saw one running (on the test bench)I almost broke out laughing. The ASG14 was a very simple set evencompared to the to the E4(F86D). It used a spiral scan about a fixedaxis about 3 degrees (I think) below the aircraft waterline. In searchthe entire antenna dish and feedhorn assembly was spinning about 100rpm and slowly 'opened up' from dead center to 45 degrees off boresight.That took about 3 seconds. Then it snapped back to center (the testbench seemed to jump) and the cycle repeated. The max range on the scopewas 20 n.m. If you picked up a target the blip was a small segment of anarc if it was 45 off axis, the length of the arc increasing as as the angleoff axis decerased until when it ws on axis the blip became a complete circle.There was no angle track capability at all; the pilot did that by flying the104 to point at the blip. Once inside 10nm the pilot could lock on in rangeonly by depressing the radar ranging button on the stick. The antenna stoppedits diverging scan and simply spun about the boresight axis. The pilot couldposition a range gate over teh target and once locked on the set fed radarrange to the gunsight's ballistic computer. A needle in a gauge at the bottomof the scope indicated overtake. The sight reticle would indicate range in nmif missiles were selected, 1000s of feet if guns were selected. The radar wastunable to combat ECM and also had a tunable ECM HOME function where it was inreceive-only. (This did work quite well on B52s and EB57s) There was also an IRsight - that hafmoon window at the base of the armored windshield - that used ascanning system like a Nipkow disc TV set of the early days. There were 2spinning discs, one with an arc shaped slit running one way, the otherwith a reverse arc. If there was no target out there, the senstive CdS(I think) element's output was cut off by an AGC-like circuit. But a spotIR target would result in a momentary signal and that, amplified, wouldflash a neon bulb. The resulting flash would be foucssed through a pairof similar synchronised spinning discs and that output was reflected offthe gunsight combining glass. The resulting 'arced cross' was visible tothe pilot and he flew the aircraft to put the pipper on the cross. Therange was adequate for guns, around 3-4000 feet. As simple and as crudeas it sounds, it worked! The AIM9Bs were boresighted along with theradar and the gunsight. I got to shoot at a Firebee once and I wastracking the drone strictly on radar. When I got a mile behind it Icalled "Flares" and seconds later heard the buzzing growl in the missile.I looked up through the sight and the pipper was on the flare. Themissile then knocked the flare off its mount. (The warhead was clipped tosave the drone - #2 got the other flare and #3 got the drone itself. All in all the ASG14 was a simple reliable and effective weapons system - it'ssimplicity was enabled by the 104's ability to catch anything it was after. After exepriencing the slavery required to maintain an F86D/E4 and thenthe F102's MG10 with its incessant need for WSEM (missile system) testingthe 104/ASG14 was a real treat. Imagine changing the radar package in 20minutes! And aircraft availability averaged <AVERAGED> over 90%! What achange from even the F102! Walt BJ ftr plt ret
can this help you, Petrus ?
I don't know how familiar you are with RCA's ASG14 but it's a modern analog to the RAF's AI Mk 8 used in WW2. Basically it is a spiral scan search radar with no angle track capability. Very simple in construction and operation; just find him on the 20-mile (max!) scope, turn toward him to fly him to the center and go get him. He'll show up as a small arc on the scope when he's 45 degrees off the nose in the turn. You know when he's dead ahead (on boresight) because then he paints as a circle around the center of the scope - the circle's radius is his range. The set can, however, lock on and track a target in (only!) range from 10 miles on in. Press a button on the stick grip and the antenna reverses direction and generates about a 10 degree conical scan. The pilot has to keep the target centered by flying the airplane, as I said, since there is no angle track capability at all. It does, when locked on, feed range to the computing gunsight; effectively, too. Range numbers show up on the sight; in miles when missiles are selected, feet when guns are selected. Handily, the Sidewinders look right along the same axis and will growl when they see the target.
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