A Microwave Engineering Journey

   1952-1996        1996-1998        1998-2000        2003        2004        2005


Radar Era (1952-1961)
Missile Era (1961-1971)
Phased Array Era (1971-1980)
Early MMICs (1980-1990)
MMICs Today (1990-2004)

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The Second Ten Years of the Microwave Engineering Journey
The Missile/Stripline Era (1961-1971)

In 1961 TI won a contract to work with the Naval Ordnance Test Station to Develop ARM Missiles for the Navy Department.I was one of four employees that moved to China Lake California for one year to work with navy employees on this program.Other designers were Vic Armstrong, Jim Phillips, and Bob Larrabe. Navy engineers that we worked with included Joe Mosko, Charles May, and Bob Corzine.We helped them develop the microwave guidance system for the Shrike Missile Program. The first three photos at the left show aircraft launching or carrying the missile, and the fourth shows the result of the impact of an unarmed missile with a radar system located on the NOTS Mojave desert firing range. The last photo shows two spiral antenna forms that were considered for use in the missile guidance system.

The Navy ARM Missile Guidance work was expanded to include the Shrike, Erase, and Harm programs. I was responsible for development of a Shrike Microwave Guidance System for one of the frequency bands and worked on Antenna development for the Erase program. The guidance systems utilized the first two excitation modes of frequency independent spiral antennas. The dual modes were excited and separated into individual sum and difference ports using networks consisting of phase shifters and directional couplers. These signals were then recombined using the same components to form four ports that provided two-plane Monopulse Direction Finding. As the title of this page indicates, the transmission-line form of choice was Stripline. The phase shifters and directional coupler networks were realized using a three layer dielectric structure employing two ground planes. The center conductors were planar in form and located between the center and outer dielectric layers. A typical dielectric choice was the material Duroid.
The Shrike Missile systems employed planar spiral antennas. These antennas performed well in narrow band applications, but performance was degraded by the need to use a Radome to meet the missile aerodynamic requirements. One of the goals of the Erase program was to develop Conical spiral antenna forms for use in the guidance system. Since these antennas had a form much like that required for aerodynamic needs, the degradation was likely to be much less. However, in the course of the antenna development I discovered that two-plane Monopulse Direction Finding was not possible with these antenna forms because the phase centers of the two mode excitations were seperated along the axis of the cone. This was a significant disappointment for the program, but the designers on the Harm program were able to overcome it satisfactorally.
Both the Shrike and Harm Missile programs were very successful. Texas Instruments constructed a large corporate site in Lewisville that was dedicated to work on programs of this type. The missiles were deployed very effectively in the Viet Nam war.

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