A few dozen kilometers to the north-east of Moscow, is a unique object. It has the shape of a truncated four-sided pyramid with a base width of 130 meters and a height of about 35 meters. On each side of this building are typical panel round and square forms that can give a person who knows what lies beneath them. Over the four round panels are four active phased array antennas with a diameter from 18 meters, for square — Antenna Control antimissiles of about 10×10 meters. The very same object is a multi-function radar, "Don-2N" and is designed to control the kosmicheskimprostranstvom over Russia and neighboring countries, as well as to identify and ensure the destruction of detected ballistic missiles.
In fact, the radar "Don-2N" is a central element of a missile defense system of Moscow. Opportunities station can not only produce potentially dangerous objects at altitudes up to 40 thousand kilometers, but also to provide guidance missiles. The station is equipped with four immediately phased arrays, so can watch all the surrounding space and produce data on detected targets.
History radar "Don-2N" began in 1963, when the Moscow Radio Engineering Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (now the "RTI them. Academician AL Mints") was given the task to createnewsystem to detect targets for future missile defense complex. Originally intended to create a radar station operating in the UHF band. However, a few months after the start of the Institute staff have come to the conclusion that inadequate performance of the system. UHF station could not provide sufficient accuracy to detect targets that the real situation could have fatal consequences. Therefore, in the beginning of the next 1964 RTI engaged in the development of a new centimeter-top boxes. With the help of this equipment was planned to give a new station acceptable performance and to ensure the relative simplicity and ease of use as the console had to work as part of a system built with extensive use of existing technologies and developments.
However, in this case, a new proposal was considered hopeless. It was necessary to make a completely new radar station with a good stepping stone for the future. In connection with this the rest of 1964 and into next year the staff of the Institute of Radio Engineering spent on the creation of five different options for prospective station. But the third time, the project has not given any implementable results. All five had their optionsproblemsand were not recommended for further work. An analysis of the work done and put forward the technical proposals led to the emergence of yet another version of the radar image perspective. A little later, this version became the basis for the future station "Don-2N."
In the first months of 1966 employees RTI began work on the project "Don", during which it was planned to create just two radar operating in different bands. UHF system was supposed to do in land and ship variants, which would not only drive space surveillance with its own territory, but watch out for positional areas missiles by ships radar, located near its shores. Centimeter station, in turn, was made exclusively in ground form. Its tasks suggested that not only the detection of enemy missiles, but also the guidance of interceptor missiles. According to the first version of the project, centimetric radar was to "see" sector-wide 90 °. Thus, to ensure the required time Omnidirection build immediately four identical stations.
By the end of conceptual design centimeter station "Don", all work on the second system UHF been terminated. The level of development of electronics allows you to connect to a ground station all the developments and ensure compliance. Since 1968, employees of RTI developed equipment designed to work only in the centimeter range. As for the other frequencies, the stations for early warning of missile attack elected meter waves.
In 1969, the Radio Engineering Institute instructed to begin development of preliminary design "Don H" in which it was necessary to use the existing developments on previous programs in the field of radar stations. The requirements of the customer, through the Ministry of Defence were quite large. The fact that the specified characteristics of range and altitude tracked targets were too large for the available at the moment electronics. In the late sixties, even the newest electronic equipment could not reliably track and maintain sophisticated ballistic targets at ranges of about two thousand kilometers.
To perform the tasks had to do some serious research and testing. At the same time there was an offer in part to simplify the missile defense system, dividing it into two-tier and equipping two types of missiles. In this case, the construction of a radar system integrated to induce two types of missiles, looked comfortable and optimal from an economic point of view. The determination of the final shape of the future radar had to spend some time and only in the mid-1972 began full-fledged implementation of the project "Don H".
To perform the required characteristics of a promising radar proposed to equip the new computing system, the development of which started simultaneously with the start of a full-fledged design "Don-H." Soon multifunctional radar acquired the majority of features that have survived to the present day. In particular, the engineers decided on an RTI building structure: a truncated pyramid with a fixed phased array antennas on each of the four sides of the square and separate antennas for missile guidance. The correct calculation of the provisions of antennas allow full view of the entire upper hemisphere: "field of view" of the station was limited to the relief of the surrounding countryside and features of the radio signal.
In the future, the project improved and it makes a certain adjustments. First of all innovations focused equipment for the processing of signals. Thus, for use in the radar station was established supercomputer "Elbrus-2." However, even with the most sophisticated electronic equipment in the station computer system was able to reduce only to the size of a thousand-plus cabinets. To cool such a large number of electronics in the project had to provide a special system with water pipes and heat exchangers. The total length of pipe exceeds a few hundred kilometers. To connect all the elements of the radar equipment required about 20 thousand kilometers of cables.
In 1978, the project, by this time changed its name to "Don-2N" got to the stage of building a workstation. It is worth noting, at about the same time, a similar complex built at the Sary-Shagan, but it differed from the Moscow region the size of used equipment and, as a consequence, the possibilities. For about ten years of construction and installation of equipment builders have installed more than 30 thousand tons of metal structures, flooded more than 50 thousand tons of concrete and paved a huge number of cables, pipes, etc. Since 1980, the facility was installation of electronic equipment, which lasted until the 87th year.
Only a quarter of a century after the creation of a new multi-function radar, "Don-2N" to intercede on alert. In 1989 the complex started to follow objects in outer space. According to public reports, the radar can detect a target at an altitude of 40 thousand kilometers. Detection range of targets such as the head portion of an intercontinental missiles — about 3700 km. Radio transmitters capable of delivering a pulsed radar signal power up to 250 MW. Phased array and computer system provides the definition of angular coordinates of the target with an accuracy of about 25-35 seconds of arc. Range accuracy — about 10 meters. According to various reports, the station "Don-2N" may be accompanied by up to hundreds of sites and direct them to a few dozen missiles. One shift operators of the plant consists of a hundred people.
During the early years of the radar "Don-2N" its characteristics, as well as the fact of existence, were not disclosed. However, in 1992 Russia and the U.S. have agreed to co-host the program, which was to estimate the possibility of detection and tracking of small objects orbiting the Earth. The program is called ODERACS (Orbital DEbris RAdar Calibration Spheres — «Orbital balls to calibrate radar tracking space junk").
The first experiment within the program (ODERACS-1) planned for the winter of 1992, but did not take place due to technical reasons. Only two years later, the U.S. space shuttle Discovery during the experiment ODERACS-1R thrown into space six metal balls. Balls for a few months remained in orbit and at this time they are followed by the U.S. and Russian radars radar "Don-2N." It is noteworthy that the size of the balls 15 and 10 centimeters (two balls of each size) were able to observe and track all the stations that participated in the experiment. Two five-centimeter ball managed to detect only the Russian military. In the next experiment ODERACS-2 space shuttle "Discovery" threw three balls and three chaff. The results of the experiment, except for some nuances were similar. Radar "Don-2N" could find the balls of the smallest size at distances up to two thousand k
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