A Legends Nominee
I would like to nominate Dr. Robert Page of the Naval Research Laboratory who made major contributions toward the initial invention of radar and the monopulse radar tracking technique. The invention patent No. 1,981,884, "System for Detecting Objects by Radio," by Taylor, A. H., Hyland, L., and Young, L. C., of the Naval Research Laboratory was successful with a contribution by Page with his invention No. 2,512,673, "Radio Pulse Duplexing System," (1950). Page's contribution to the radar field was the invention of the monopulse tracking radar, "Simultaneous Lobe Comparison, Pulse Echo Locator System," Patent No. 2,929,056, March 15, 1960. The patent was filed in 1947, but because of military security it could not be published until 1960.The invention involved several ingenious microwave signal processing techniques when few microwave waveguide devices were available. This invention led to the development of the first high-precision monopulse tracking radar, the AN/FPS- 16 that could meet the requirements for range safety at Cape Canaveral at the initiation of our space program. Since then the monopulse tracking technique is used in most military applications including the AN/SPY-1 ship defense phased radars on our Navy's Aegis ships, the Patriot missile defense radar, airborne and shipboard fire control radars, and the AN/FPQ-6 satellite tracking radar.
The initial monopulse technique was called "simultaneous lobe comparison," which replaced the old pencil beams scanning and sequential lobing techniques. The monopulse technique provided target angle and range tracking information on each single pulse that eliminated the susceptibility to sources of error and provided the means to obtain very high precision target tracking.
Page was also our Director of Research at the Naval Research Laboratory. I was involved with the experimental evaluation of the original model of the monopulse radar and amazed at the ingenuity of the "home-made" microwave circuitry that made it work.
Dean D. Howard
We agree that monopulse-tracking radar continues to be critical to today's defense, space, and other applications, and are happy to learn more about one of the individuals who brought this technology to life. Thank you for sharing a bit of your experience and knowledge.Nancy Friedrich
In the October article, "Digital RF Processor Serves Plethora Of Cellular Systems" (p. 84), the term "DRF" was used when it should have been "DRP." We apologize for any confusion.