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Old 11-16-2019, 12:38 AM   #1
Harlikwin
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Default AWG9 over land question

So, ive read various sources that say the AWG9 was bad over land. Can anyone specifically explain to me why this should be given that its a pulse doppler radar?

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Old 11-16-2019, 03:44 AM   #2
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I think it has more to do with max range. Land will scatter the pulses vs a smooth ocean reflecting them further out.
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Old 11-16-2019, 06:05 PM   #3
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Man, really no answers on this?

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Old 11-16-2019, 10:48 PM   #4
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I don’t know that the AWG-9 was bad over land. It will certainly be better over water as any radar will be. Much less reflection over water as the reflections mostly keep radiating forward like skipping a stone on a lake. Pulse targets are infinitely easier to find, and the MLC filter can be turned off with less detrimental effects making it almost impossible to notch.
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Old 11-17-2019, 01:46 AM   #5
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Well the hearasay from various AF and nato pilots was that the AWG9 was overhyped. And various f14 guys said it wasnt great over land. What i have heard offered up is that since it was an over water radar it had trouble filtering out ground clutter. I understand that the returns are different, but i dont know that much about how filters or signal processing of that generation of radar worked. So i guess its possible that its right, id just like to know more.

I also put those statements at odds with the fact the IRAF got ple ty of AA kills with that radar, presumably many of them over land.
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Old 11-17-2019, 07:59 AM   #6
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Compared to the APG-63 series of radars and how much easier they were to use, and the fact that they have MPRF all equates to those radars are going to have a much cleaner/easier to read display, hold locks better and require much less effort on the part of the aircrew to employ.

So did it suck over land vs over water?

It has a lot of power, and many features that CAN make it capable in the right hands, however the more modern radars in f-15s in particular are going to result in a faster, better picture, and a quicker and more stable lock at range in just about any circumstance compared to the AWG-9. May not have as long range a raw detection, but that trade off in reliability and ease of use was probly worth it (as every other modern US A/A radar has been based off the APG-63 family since).

Keep in mind the AWG-9 is really a 1950/60s radar molded into a 1970s jet. It’s origins and core go back a long ways and it’s technology was outdated within a few years of being in service. But it was what they had, and it did the job of supporting the Phoenix quite well.

Compared to the Phantom radars it was replacing it was light years ahead, compared to the APG-63 series of radars that came out a few years later, it was rather antiquated.

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Old 11-17-2019, 08:19 AM   #7
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Gain Control: The AWG-9s wasn't great, especially compared to radars that would arrive later in the decade.
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Old 11-17-2019, 05:55 PM   #8
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Being a pulse-Doppler radar, the AWG-9 was far better than older "pulse radars" such as those on (most) F-4s and F-5s. “Look-down, shoot-down" capability was a game-changer. It was, however, a mostly analog system. You needed the RIO to perform tasks that are largely automated in the radars of the F-16 and F/A-18, for example.

Under the hood, the AWG-9 utilized an analog computer. It wasn't until the F-14D and its APG-71 (the AWG-9 with improvements from the F-15E’s APG-70) that the Tomcat had a digital computer for better processing speed, mode flexibility, clutter rejection, and detection range. It was improved clutter rejection that really made the F-14 a better over-land performer.

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Old 11-17-2019, 06:26 PM   #9
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So how did the anlalog computer do the doppler filtering. FFTs like modern radars? Or some other method?
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Old 11-17-2019, 07:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harlikwin View Post
So how did the anlalog computer do the doppler filtering. FFTs like modern radars? Or some other method?

A bank of analog bandpass filters.
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