The Radar Branch operates twelve tracking radars throughout the Range.  Two phased array AN/MPS-39 Multiple Object Tracking Radars and ten AN/FPS-16 radars form the basic radar instrumentation network.  These are supplanted by a special purpose CW Doppler radar.  A third AN/MPS-39 Multiple Object Tracking Radar has been acquired and it is planned to be operational in 2013.  White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) operates two C-band Radar Transponder shops.  The transponder test facility provides all transponder support on WSMR, both on and off the Range, as to ensure positive, reliable, repeatable target tracking necessary to meet Missile Flight Safety and customer requirements.

AN/MPS-39 MOTR (Army Navy Mobile Pulsed systems Multiple Object Tracking Radars)

The AN/MPS-39 Multiple Object Tracking Radars are WSMR's most modern instrumentation radars.  They are phased array radars, each capable of simultaneously tracking up to 40 objects within a scan volume of 60 degrees by 60 degrees.  Each MOTR phased array antenna is mounted on an azimuth over elevation pedestal so that full hemispheric coverage is possible.  The precision of the radar is 0.2 mils (approximately .02 milliradians) in angles and 1.5 yards in range.  The peak power of the radar is one-megawatt, but a mix of six different waveforms provides for a total average transmitted power of 5000 watts, the highest of any of the WSMR radars.  The MOTR is capable of tracking a six-inch sphere to range in excess of 120 km.

AN/FPS-16 Radars (Army Navy Mobile Pulsed Systems)

WSMR also operates up to ten AN/FPS-16 instrumentation tracking radars.  The FPS-16 is a pulsed radar that operates at C-Band frequencies between 5.4 and 5.9 GHz.  It is capable of tracking a single target as small as a six inch sphere with a precision of better than 3 yards to a distance of almost 100 kilometers.  The radar can track in two modes: Echo, where the radar locks onto the reflected energy from a target, and transponder mode, where an active on-board device is used for the tracking signal.

Continuous Wave (CW) Doppler Radar

The Continuous Wave (CW) Radar is a special purpose radar designed to record the Doppler Signature of a target.  It is used primarily for measuring the exit velocity of ground launched missiles and muzzle velocity of direct fire weapons.

This page was last updated on 10/26/2018 2:30 PM