Refraction Correction of Rocket Tracking Radar Inputs in Near Real Time

Manuel E. López Environment and Sensor Systems, The MITRE Corporation, Bedford, Mass. 01730

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William W. Vickers Environment and Sensor Systems, The MITRE Corporation, Bedford, Mass. 01730

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Abstract

A technique has been developed to correct rocket tracking radar inputs in near real time (maximum computing time of 100 msec) for refractive effects, by iterating twice an approximate closed-form solution for an exponentially stratified model. Maximum computational discrepancies for a test atmosphere between the results using this technique and those using an accurate numerical integration of the ray-tracing equations were under 3 m for the range error and 0.2 mrad for both the bending and the elevation errors. The technique works well for any initial antenna elevation angle, including zero and negative values, and for all practical radar ranges.

Abstract

A technique has been developed to correct rocket tracking radar inputs in near real time (maximum computing time of 100 msec) for refractive effects, by iterating twice an approximate closed-form solution for an exponentially stratified model. Maximum computational discrepancies for a test atmosphere between the results using this technique and those using an accurate numerical integration of the ray-tracing equations were under 3 m for the range error and 0.2 mrad for both the bending and the elevation errors. The technique works well for any initial antenna elevation angle, including zero and negative values, and for all practical radar ranges.

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