Operational Requirements - An AEW Controller Viewpoint

Operational Requirements - An AEW Controller Viewpoint

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The concept of airborne early warning (AEW) is straightforward. AEW is a method that force commanders can use to extend their 'eyes' to gain a more complete and extended picture of the theater of battle. The majority of sensors employed by force commanders to assess the overall situation are 'line-of-sight' type sensors. This means that the sensors will see in approximately straight lines (with a slight bending due to atmospheric refraction) out to their maximum effective range. The curvature of the earth presents a significant limitation to ground-based, line-of-sight sensors, as shown in Figure 2.1. Also depicted in Figure 2.1 is an AEW platform that extends the available line-of-sight sensor coverage for the detection of threats that would otherwise be masked by the curvature of the earth. Table 1.1 (Chapter 1) includes numerical examples of line-of-sight radar range versus the radar and target heights. The advantages of increased platform height for extending the maximum detection range, especially for low-altitude targets, are evident.

Chapter Contents:

  • 2.1 Trends in AEW System Development
  • 2.2 AEW Mission Descriptions
  • 2.3 AEW System Requirements
  • 2.3.1 Radar
  • 2.3.2 IFF System
  • 2.3.3 ESM System
  • 2.3.4 Noncooperative Target Recognition (NCTR)
  • 2.3.5 Multisensor Fusion
  • 2.3.6 Communications
  • 2.3.7 Navigation Systems
  • 2.4 Platform Requirements
  • 2.5 Basing Requirements
  • 2.6 Crew Size and Functions

Inspec keywords: aerospace control; alarm systems; military systems; airborne radar; military radar; radar detection

Other keywords: target heights; ground-based sensors; low-altitude targets; line-of-sight type sensors; line-of-sight radar range; AEW platform; AEW controller; airborne early warning controller; threats detection

Subjects: Military control systems; Radar equipment, systems and applications

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