• Rendezvous Radar for Space Shuttle Orbiter Vehicle

      McQuillan, W. F.; Bologna, A. W.; Calabrese, D. M.; Rockwell International Corporation (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1974-10)
      To successfully complete many of the Space Shuttle Program proposed missions involving Orbiter rendezvous with orbiting satellites, some method of detecting and tracking remote targets is desirable. Several studies to establish the requirements for a rendezvous radar system indicated the feasibility of the concept. Extensive application of state of the art components is possible, and system parameters can be determined in a general sense to avoid impacting Orbiter development. Considerations of size and weight are necessary to the choice of any system, as well as the operational capabilities of the candidate. Two radar systems appeared to meet the requirements: a microwave radar and a laser radar. Although the laser radar was highly competitive, difficulty was encountered in assessing the operational risk of such a system. The microwave radar was therefore selected as the rendezvous sensor most suitable for Space Shuttle Program use.