Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Need any radar ready equipment?

Sometimes I hear from old colleagues from my aerospace days. Back in those days, I worked on the SR-71 program. It was the most exciting days of my life, being at the cutting edge of digital technology and radar systems. We made radar equipment and processed the results - we could see digital radar recorded at 85,000 feet from a plane going Mach 3 before the enemy even knew we flew over their terrain.

The SR-71 program was canceled after 40 years of service. Our last duty was to disembowel our radar systems and return every nut and bolt to the government. It took us years to do so. Some equipment we could just sell off as excess, as no one in their right mind wanted it.

Today I got an email from one of those colleagues. He has some equipment for sale. A Wavetek Model 300 signal generator that still works... a 8620A sweep oscillator that doesn't work. A couple Tektronic oscilloscopes are available - but both have sticky switches. And the model 865B power supply works, but the 141T spectrum analyzer doesn't work. All this equipment was surplus and not needed back those many years ago. Its only use since then has been in a system designed for tennis ball tracking radar.

I love these old engineers, but what where they thinking?


giantspeckledchihuahua said...

tennis ball tracking? My dog could uses on of those...yeah she ain't no retriever!

Diane AZ said...

Beautiful picture, I love the cactus! My dad had a couple of oscilloscopes at our house. I don't recall what he used them for.

altadenahiker said...

Oh, so that's how the get shot spot. Well now, I find that quite interesting.

Brenda's Arizona said...

This tennis ball radar tracker has to be the most EXPENSE tracker ever funded!

altadenahiker said...


Anonymous said...

Interesting post you got here. I'd like to read a bit more about this matter. The only thing your blog needs is some pictures of some gizmos.
Nickolas Kripke
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