Airborne Instrumentation


TSC developed the RF receiver and data collection subassemblies for a power, pattern and polarization (P3) data collection system. This airborne system determines the characteristics of a radar under observation (RUO) through information collected and processed by the system. A pod mounted to wing emplacements on aircraft such as the P3, F18 and F16 contains the RF receiver. This receiver is capable of collecting, digitizing and storing information associated with the P3 parameters of a CW or pulse waveform from the RUO over the frequencies of interest. Measurements by the RF receiver include power and relative phase between two channels of a dual polarized horn antenna. Transmit polarization and antenna pattern of the RUO are computed using the instantaneous polarization, Global Positioning System (GPS) range and Attitude Heading Reference System (AHRS) measurements collected by the instrumentation.

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The system consists of an antenna and mount, an RF receiver assembly and a data processor / formatter which transfers data to a digital data storage unit. A system control processor receives pod attitude, position and time from a GPS / AHRS unit and issues control parameters to the RF processor.  The RF receiver can then operate in autonomous mode, executing tasking independent of the user or in manual mode where the collection process is controlled by real-time user inputs. in accordance with user supplied task control blocks. Phase IV Systems Operation provided the RF systems engineering for the overall pod and developed the front end, down conversion electronics, signal processor and data recording system.