ARPA Long-Range Tracking and Instrumentation Radar (ALTAIR)
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The ARPA Long-Range Tracking and Instrumentation Radar (ALTAIR) was developed and built at Roi-Namur in the Reagan Test Site between 1968 and 1970.Photo

ALTAIR is a high-sensitivity, wide-bandwidth, coherent, instrumentation and tracking radar. ALTAIR supports several operating modes, including tracking and signature collection at VHF and UHF. Target resolution in VHF is 37 meters; in UHF, target resolution is 15 meters.

The ALTAIR system provides a large repertoire of narrow- and wide-band waveforms. The high sensitivity and relatively wide beamwidth of the radar make the instrument ideal for viewing dispersed targets. The same characteristics make the radar ideal for tracking space objects out to and beyond synchronous orbit.

ALTAIR can independently track up to 32 targets in both VHF and UHF. Simultaneous track in both frequencies allows realtime ionospheric correction to further refine tracking accuracy.

The ALTAIR Recording System (ARS) records phase and amplitude data, both Right Circular and Left Circular on all in-beam, tracked targets, transferring data to high speed disks at rates up to 56 MBytes/second.

 

ALTAIR System Characteristics
Frequency: VHF, UHF Waveforms: selectable among 7 at VHF, among 9 at UHF
PRF: 50 - 2976 Pulsewidth: 0.1 - 1000 Ásec
Modulation: CW and Linear FM Chirp Bandwidth: VHF -1 to 7 MHz, UHF - .05 to 18 MHz