The SR-71 Blackbird

The CIA A-12 Blackbird Program


The A-12 started out as an USAF interceptor to replace the cancelled F-108A Rapier. In October 1962, CIA authorized the Skunk Works to study the feasibility of modifying the A-12 to carry and deploy a reconnaissance drone for unmanned overflight of denied areas. The project was codenamed TAGBOARD.

26 Dec 2020

Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar System (ASARS-1)

Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar System (ASARS-1)

Author: SR Admin  /  Categories: Sensors  /  Rate this article:

The ASARS-1 is a high-resolution radar imaging solution. The system views terrarin to the left or right of the ground track, at selected ranges. The airborne system produces digital data representative of radar-imaged target areas. It also provides a real-time radar cockpit dispaly. Ground-based processing equipment produces high-resolution radar imagery from airborne-collected digital data. The data link system has the capability to downlink ASARS data when flight path permits, as well as record that data in the DCRsi recorder, a functional part of the data link system (see Data Link System).

Component Location - The antenna assembly/motion sensing unit, transmitter, receive and related equipment are installed in a specially-configured detachable nose. A computer and a data handler are installed in an equipment bay. The in-flight processor and display unit is installed in the Reconnaissance Systems Officer's (RSO) instrument panel.

Opertaing Modes - Search, aquisition (navigation dta update) and two high-resolution spotlight modes. The search mode is initiated and controlled automatically by the ANS navigation system or manually by the RSO. Acquisition and spotlight modes are iniitiated and controlled automatically only. In search and spot-light modes, imaged area is perpendicular to the ground track, or it can be squinted forward or aft up to 30 degrees. In the acquisition mode, the imaged area for a navigation fixpoint is 37 degress forward of perpendicular. System can be operated in turns.

Terrain Coverage in Straight and Level Flight at 80,000 feet:

Search Mode - 10 nautical mile swath, positioned 20 to 100 nautical miles of ground track.

Spotlight Modes - Large spot, a square approximately 1 nautical mile on a side; small spot, a rectangle approximately 1 nautical mile by 1/3 nautical mile. Spot can be positioned form 20 to 85 nautical miles to the side of ground track.

Along Track Terrain Coverage- Limited by capacity of DCRsi recorder (See Data Link System).




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