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ISR

The Millstone Hill Incoherent Scatter Radar system is a high power large aperature radar that is used to observe the near space environment. The primary measurement technique used by the system is incoherent scatter from ionospheric plasma. This technique allows the density, temperature, velocity, and composition of the near space environment (ionosphere) to be determined with great accuracy. The system can also observe scatter from ionospheric turbulence, meteors, and satellites.

The radar is capable of making observations over a range from 90 to 1000 km in altitude. Geographic coverage is from just short of the arctic circle to the north, past Florida to the south, to the central atlantic ocean to the east, and out to Iowa in the west.

The radar system uses a high power transmitter in combination with a large antenna and highly sensitive radio receivers. A fixed vertically pointing antenna (Zenith) and a fully steerable antenna (MISA) are available for making ionospheric measurements. The fixed antenna is often used while moving the steerable one.

By making measurements in multiple directions the radar system can be used to determine the flows and electric fields which are present in the ionosphere.

Incoherent Scatter Radars

Radar System Parameters

 

Location   
 Geodetic Latitude 42.61950 °
 Geodetic Longitude 288.50827 °
 Geodetic Altitude 0.14600 km
 Invariant Latitude (Lambda) 53.40967 °
Zenith Antenna   
 Type zenith pointing fixed parabola
 Diameter 68 meters
 Gain 45.5 dBi
 3dB Beam Width 0.6 °
MISA Antenna   
 Type fully steerable parabola
 Diameter 46 meters
 Gain 42.5 dBi
 3dB Beam Width 1.2 °
 Max Azimuth Rate 1.2 °/sec
 Max Elevation Rate 0.6 °/sec
Transmitter   
 Type Dual Litton 5773 Klystron
 Quantity Two Independent Cabinets
 Frequency 440.0 to 440.4 MHz
 Peak Power 2.5 MW per TX unit
 Avg Power 150 KW
 Duty Cycle 6%
 Pulse Widths 1 usec to 2 msec
 PRF Range 0 to 15 kHz, 100 Hz typical
 Modulation Pulse, Binary Phase, Chirp
 Bandwidth 1 MHz maximum
Receivers   
 System Temperature 120K typical
 Total Noise Temperature 150K typical
 Data System Type MIDAS-W Software Radar
 DAQ Echotek GC314-FS Digital RX
 Bandwidth 36 to 52 MHz Digitized
 Channels 12 max
 Channel Bandwidth 12@2.5 MHz, 6@5MHz, 3@10 MHz, 1@40 MHz
 Time Base GPS Locked to UTC
 Frequency Stability 2 parts in 10E11
 Data Transport Gigabit Switched Ethernet
 Processing 32+ Gflops General Purpose CPU
 Storage 25+ TB RAID5
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