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Friday, August 7, 2009

Toward New Horizons

Thanks to a friend who updated me on this.

The famous 1946 report by the Army Air Force's Science Advisory Group is available for viewing in a couple of different places. The first place I would visit would be governmentattic.org, as their copies are clear, but not quite complete yet. Direct Link to Report Here

The Air Force has also made the entire report available, but in some cases it is unreadable. Go Air Force Historical Research Agency to get the missing reports.

This SAG report was crucial in determining the future course for Air Strategies. Interesting reports most related to my studies are the guided rockets, and pilotless Aircraft studies, along with the history of RADAR.


Here are a couple of samples from the reports:

TARGET PROPERTIES

The distinguishing features of an individual echo are very few. As we have said,
nonmetallic objects, as well as metallic objects, reflect. A tank parked in a wood, and the trees around it produce echoeswhicbdiffer, if at all, only in intensity. In certain very special cases a characteristic relation between the polarization of the incident 50 and reflected waves may be identifiable. There is, however, one important characteristic of many military targets which strikingly distinguishes them from their surroundings, their rapid motion. It is possible to exploit this advantage by various means discussed in a later section, and to isolate the echoes from targets which are moving. The further application and improvement of these techniques is likely to prove one of the most productive lines of radar development during the next few years.


TACTICAL EMPLOYMENT

Air warning of enemy attack to ground installations is only a partially solved
problem. The solution has failed in two ways: There has been failure to establish
the existence of hostile aircraft, and there has been failure to appreciate that warning without thwarting the attack is of little value.
Failure to pick up enemy attack has been caused by "on the deck" fiying which
results in screening by the horizon, and by the extreme high-altitude trajectories of
the German V-2 rockets. The low-altitude attack can be met by elevation of the warning radar. This can best be accomplished by the use of a long-range airborne set. A start toward the solution of this problem has been made with the introduction of the AEW. In order to complete this solution, it will be necessary to remove sea return and ground echoes, and to increase the range of the equipment considerably. V-2 warning must be accomplished by improving the high-altitude coverage of radar equipment. Since the rocket weapons of the future will go to fantastically high altitudes, it may be impractical to provide coverage for warning purposes over more than a limited portion of the trajectory. The provision of warning, without measures for preventing the attack, is almost useless. In the case of low-fiying aircraft. the use of airborne warning systems must be coupled with control of defensive measures. As in the case of ground radar, the warning function must take second place to the control function. Two possibilities exist: control must be carried out either from the aircraft. or from a ground station to which the air picture is relayed. Since rocket weapons of great size and long range are likely to be one of the main weapons of the next war, the defense against these must be developed. The unsolved problem of this war is the provision of warning of the approach of such rockets, and, much more important, their destruction at a safe distance from the target. Obvious requirements of the battle against super rockets are a maximum period of warning, and a projectile capable of destroying them at high altitudes. Both of these requirements remain to be met.


It will take me awhile to go through the entire report, but I plan to do a review of it when I am finished. Enjoy!

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