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Radar Transmitter Controller
Radar Transmitter Controller

HED designed, built, and tested a custom Transmitter Control Unit to the monitor and control the transmitter subsystems for the Taiwan Hughes Air Defense Radar (HADR).


The TCU is based upon a custom data acquisition and control system paired with a COTS touch screen computer. The control system is comprised of custom digital, analog, and CPU boards all communicating over a custom backplane. An Ethernet interface provides communication between the control chassis, the touch screen PC, and an optional remote display/control console.

Radars by their nature are pulsed systems and the DSP-based analog cards can perform real-time capture-and-intercept any pulse which might stress the transmitter. The captured waveforms can be later recalled on the display during troubleshooting and maintenance operations. The digital cards monitor a myriad of input signals and can turn off power and RF to prevent damage during real-time fault conditions. The digital output signals are used for normal mode and test mode control of the transmitter subsystem.

A special built-in-test mode allows this system to fully control the transmitter during maintenance operations and a variety of front panel test points allow maintenance personnel to quickly analyze and debug transmitter problems.

The touch screen GUI allows for intuitive monitoring and control of the transmitter. The GUI shows a block diagram of the transmitter subsystem where each component becomes highlighted during fault conditions. Touching a block diagram component brings up a detailed list of status and faults which allows operators to isolate and debug problems down to the LRU level. The GUI also contains a history of status and faults which can be viewed locally or on an optional remote display/control console.

A half-rack-height door covers the control chassis and power supply during normal operation.

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