University Crest RSPPG

RAPIER

Relocatable Auroral Polar Ionospheric Experimental Radar


RAPIER is a development of the SABRE system intended to provide coherent radar measurements in a variety of high latitude locations. It consists of an eight channel phased array radar operating at approx. 145 MHz.

The antenna array combines transmission with reception to provide a significant improvement over the 'floodlight' transmission employed in the SABRE radar. Total transmitted power is only a few hundred Watts as opposed to the 50 KW peak pulse power necessary in SABRE.

The system thus has only a single beam but this may be electronically steered to any direction. In normal operation the beam is swept through 8 beam directions to emulate the SABRE arrangement. Other modes of operation include a single beam with high temporal resolution and several combinations of 2 and 4 beams.

The complete system is thus much more compact and it is practical to operate in a campaign mode in different locations. Setting up the system requires 3/4 people and may be acheived in a few days.

The system is controlled by a multi-processor computer system based on Motorola 68X00 processors in a VME rack. This provides considerable flexibility in operation.


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