Air Force Rome Air Development Center [RADC] was tasked with engineering responsibility for the development of a spacetrack radar (AN/FPS-85) and sponsored a developmental contract with the Bendix Corporation. As the initial operational application of the phased-array concept, in which a beam from several transmitters was transmitted without the movement or rotation of conventional radar, the AN/FPS-85 would be the first phased-array radar developed to track objects in space. The Aerospace Defense Command's 14th Aerospace Force assumed operational control of the AN/FPS-85 Space Track Radar -- previously designated the Electronically Steerable Array Radar (ESAR) -- at Eglin AFB in late December 1968. This was the first phased-array radar system especially designed to detect and track objects in space. The physical structure of the system was 13 stories high, and the radar contained 5,134 transmitters and 4,660 receivers and utilized three computers.
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By: kjfitz


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