SAR Rails and Portable Rotators
SPC has designed and constructed a number of special purpose rails and rotators to support customer requirements. Below are descriptions of some of these projects.
The PPIRCS rail is capable of 18.5 feet of linear travel, +/-60 degrees of azimuth travel and +/-10 degrees of elevation travel. The rail base is constructed of composite material and is designed to be moved with either a specialized positioner (area position, height, tilt) or a simple fork lift (area position, height). Motion along the rail in all axes is controlled with a PMAC controller. Spotlight illumination can be accomplished.
Photo Courtesy of the U.S. Air force.
The DIR rail is designed to provide 18 feet of linear travel, 8 feet of height adjustment, and +4/-1 degrees of elevation travel. Height control is accomplished on the carriage. The entire positioner can be rolled along a track, using motorized assist, to any of three designated azimuth positions. All motion is controlled via PMAC.
The BAE Systems rail is designed to accomplish 32 feet of linear travel but to be stowed with a length of only 15 feet. This is accomplished using three automatically telescoping sections that deploy as the carriage moves along its designated path. The carriage provides +/-60 degrees of azimuth travel and +/-30 degrees of elevation travel that can be controlled for spotlight illumination. The rail system can be attached to a special purpose Hubtex fork truck that is capable of omnidirectional area motion (either manual, programmed or wire guided) and can lift the rail to a height of 7 m.
The Low Profile Rotator (LPR) was developed for use in environments where a tall rotator is simply not practical. An LPR is currently used in SPC's indoor range, which does not have a pit for a recessed ISAR rotator. The LPR is 28" in diameter by 6.5" tall, can produce 250 in-lb of torque, and has a maximum speed of 35 RPM. It can support loads up to 200 lb and has no rotation limits. The rotator is controlled via PMAC.
A light-duty, inexpensive rotator/rail pair has been developed for indoor range use. A single PMAC-based motion control system controls both units. By placing the target on the rotator and the antenna on the vertically oriented rail, 3-D imaging can be performed with SPC's MkVe. The rail is 36" long and can be mounted either vertically or horizontally on a standard tripod. The rotator is 8" in diameter and 4" tall. With a sheet-metal base and a wooden column mount, the dimensions are increased to 28" in diameter by 6" tall.
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