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BlueMax

Last Updated Wednesday, November 23, 2011 4:02:57 PM
BlueMax™
“Sets the standard for RCS Measurements!”

Highest Performance Available
STAR Dynamics' BlueMax is our flagship, pulsed-IF measurement radar. BlueMax is the highest‑performance instrumentation radar system available worldwide for taking high-quality RCS and image measurements. The COTS BlueMax is a 0.1-GHz to 18-GHz RCS measurement system that uses solid-state or TWTA transmitters and state-of-the-art receiver characteristics for a wide-band, pulsed-IF system with 85-dBm sensitivity and 70-dB instantaneous dynamic range. Frequency coverage is extendable to 30 MHz to 95 GHz.
No other radar system is as friendly to operate, compact, and powerful. BlueMax will meet measurement requirements for indoor and outdoor applications and for static and dynamic ranges.
A Time-proven Standard
BlueMax is the 6th generation of the élan-series instrumentation radar systems, a family of RCS and antenna measurement systems first developed in 1989. BlueMax is the same superior product line given a new name that reflect the new STAR Dynamics Corporation (formerly Aeroflex Powell, Inc.) that produces it.
20 years of development and improvement empower BlueMax with:
·         Minimum data-collection time via demonstrated data throughput that exceeds all other RCS measurement systems.
·         Flexible, optimized, transmit waveforms with programmable frequency, phase, amplitude, pulse, and more.
·         High data-reliability via advanced data-quality monitoring.
·         Minimal operator-training time with the use of the familiar Windows operating system, and use of widely-accepted standards where possible, for example SCSI storage devices and VME-bus architecture.
·         Adaptability to an object under test, updating measurement-system parameters as response varies. For example, receive-sample time can change as the target under test changes range.
·         Availability commercial-of-the-shelf (COTS) and capable of modular expansion for a system scaled to measurement need and later expansion.
·         Low-risk procurement for technical and schedule requirements because of extensive prior use by U.S. and international customers in the aerospace industry.
It is easy to see why our radars are the system-of-choice for the most demanding RCS-measurement requirements.
State-of-the-Art
The COTS configuration of BlueMax is a standard 19-inch rack that contains the core of the radar, employing the latest L-O, RF , A/D, and VME-bus technology. BlueMax is often customized to meet specific, site-dependent needs. Inherently flexible, the core equipment rack is well-suited to a control room and equally functional hundreds of feet from the control computer with no degradation in performance.
The typical BlueMax for RCS and antenna-pattern measurements is two-channel, wide-band, pulsed-IF. The transmitter is polarization-agile with pulse-to-pulse polarization switching. The two, independent receiver channels can perform simultaneous co- and cross-p0larization measurements and supports up to four range gates per channel.
Expandable & Customizable
Versatility and backwards compatibility allow BlueMax to meet most any custom needs including:
·         Integration with existing target-position interfaces.
·         Increased frequency coverage.
·         Higher transmitted power.
·         Added antenna-pattern measurement.
Additional computers/servers can add the capability of real-time image display and data storage using BlueImage R/T software, powerful post-processing and imaging using KNOWBELL software, and motion-control with Target Positioner Interface (TPI) software.
BlueMax can include target video recording, and several types of target tracking. BlueMax range- and angle-tracking options include Motion-Measurement System (MMS), split-gate range tracking, optical (camera-operated) tracking, and navigational-radar tracking.
The systems are operated on X-Y scanners, mounted on trucks, and installed on trailers for maximum effectiveness and use.
Comprehensive User Interface
The BlueMax user interface (UI) controls system set up, collection, and data-viewing. The following is a list of a few of the UI functions:
·         Extensive waveform, timing, PRF, and phase-code control.
·         Range-walk and PRF-walk controls for delay and clutter analysis.
·         Transmit and receive attenuation, video bandwidth selection, and RF loop-back modes.
·         Real-time plots during collection.
·         Detailed and versatile collection control and calibration-data collection for real-time and post-processing calibration.
·         Diagnostics including IQ circularity, automated loop testing, digital bit, dual calibration, statistical calculations.
·         Manual control of axis position to set, home, or move, system axes.
·         Many system tools including system presets, macros, journaling, and a set-up wizard.
Operators can control the size and location of the dialogs specific to their purposes and save range- and measurement-specific presets for convenient set up and ease-of-use.
Consistent, Repeatable Operation
BlueMax supports over 10 collection modes including ISAR, sweeps, narrow-band, triggered, Doppler-frequency, and antenna-pattern. Each collection can vary by many settings for waveform, pulse, motion, and calibration including:
·         Frequency
·         Timing pulses
·         Transmit & Receive brackets
·         Range gates
·         Receive channels
·         Polarization
·         Calibration targets
·         Background subtraction
·         Real-time plots
These settings are operator-selectable and can be stored as preset files that can be saved and re-called from the UI File menu. Entire measurement campaigns can be loaded and run with a few clicks after initial set up.
Built-in Diagnostics
System health and minimal down-time are critical to our customers. BlueMax includes a full compliment of real-time and scheduled diagnostic tests.
·         A digital-BIT test assists troubleshooting down to the line-replaceable unit (LRU).
·         Automated closed-loop (pulse-injection) tests are included for each RF component in the system.
·         An IQ-circularity test provides an indicator of over-all system health.
·         A data-rate monitor displays percent throughput, percent ring-buffer used, and record-increment duty for applicable collections.
·         A system-status monitor, in the equipment rack, monitors DC-voltages, unit temperatures, IF-oscillator phase locks, and critical timing pulses during operation, and indicates errors on the front of the SSM and via the user interface.
·         Saturation, data drop-outs, record-increment over-speed, VME-bus errors, and Ethernet errors are indicated on the user interface.
·         Reference measurements allow real-time adjustment for system drift.
·         Dual calibration assesses the uncertainty of calibration-measurements.

 

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