PETERSON AIR FORCE Base, Colo. – Military radar experts at Summit Technical Solutions LLC in Colorado Springs, Colo., will support an ageing ground-based early warning radar system to help protect the U.S. and its allies from enemy ballistic missile attack.
Officials of the U.S. Space Force Space Operations Command at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., announced an $8 million order Monday to Summit Technical Solutions to operate, maintain, and support the Perimeter Acquisition Radar Attack Characterization System (PARCS) radar at Cavalier Air Force Station, N.D.
PARCS is a large radar installation that provides ballistic missile warning and attack assessment, as well as space surveillance data to the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., as well as to USSTRATCOM and regional combatant commanders.
PARCS missile-defense radar monitors and tracks more than half of all Earth-orbiting objects with its AN/FPQ-16 phased-array radar system pointed northward over Hudson Bay, and analyzes more than 20,000 tracks per day, from giant satellites to space debris.
The PARCS signal processing group (SPG) consists of 10 cabinets of equipment with hundreds of unique parts. The SPG generates frequency-modulated pulses for transmission, spectrum inversion, and pulse compression; performs side lobe reduction; as well as compares and processes track signals, multiplexing, and signal conversion.
Extensive alignment and maintenance are necessary to maintain proper signal reception and analog digital conversion of the radar system, experts say.
PARCS is a sister ballistic-missile-defense system to the Precision Acquisition Vehicle Entry Phased Array Warning System (PAVE PAWS), and the Ballistic Missile Early Warning System (BMEWS).
PAVE PAWS is a ground-based radar system that provides U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) at Offutt Air Force Base near Omaha, Neb., with warning and attack-assessment information on all intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) launched throughout the world that might be headed for U.S. territory.
BMEWS, meanwhile, is a ground-based radar system that helps warn USSTRATCOM and NATO authorities of submarine- and sea-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) attacks and provides data to help evaluate the severity of ballistic missile attacks.