Wideband Imaging Radars Summary Table (September 10, 2012)

The table below summarizes the main characteristics (where these are known or can be estimated) of the wide-band imaging radars in the Space Surveillance Network.  See the posts on the individual systems for details.  (Click on the Table for a more legible version)

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  1. Allen Thomson

     /  September 11, 2012

    With regard to Globus II, I’d give it a “probably” for Geo Imaging Capable.

    The collection http://www.fas.org/spp/military/program/track/globusII.pdf contains a FOIAed item that says,

    “HAVE STARE is an X-Band tracking/imaging radar, with a 27M dish/35M radome, and supports the AFSPC Space Surveillance mission area with spacetrack (Space Object Identification & Imaging) of geostationary satellities at 0-90E Longitude. It deployed from Vandenberg AFB to Vardo Norway Oct 98-May 99.”

    This is supported somewhat by the image in Appendix B of the same collection showing Cosmos 2388 at approximately 35,000 km range, approximately geosynchronous altitude (though Cosmos 2388 itself is in a Molniya orbit).

  2. Allen,
    Thanks for your comment.
    I completely agree. The P-A-G of GLobus II is probably about one-seventh that of Haystack, so it would take roughly seven times longer to produce a comparable image, but the integration times involved are already quite long, so in many cases that wouldn’t matter much. And thanks for the point about Cosmao 2388. I had seen this in your collection before, but had forgotten where I’d seen it.

  3. Allen Thomson

     /  September 11, 2012

    Just a P.S., but it’s worth noting that if a satellite is truly geostationary (not just geosynchronous) and three-axis stabilized, range-doppler imaging (aka ISAR) isn’t possible from a fixed site on the Earth’s surface because there isn’t any doppler.


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