FPQ-16 Long Range Phased Array Radar Set - A one-of-a-kind very long range Phased Array Radar set built by General Electric. Also known as Perimeter Acquisition Radar Attack Characterization System (PARCS). The primary mission of PARCS is to provide warning assessment data on all SLBMs and ICBMs in its coverage area. It also provides space vehicle surveillance, tracking and identification to the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, as well as to USSTRATCOM and regional combatant commanders.
This radar can detect targets within a volume of 140 degrees azimuth and an elevation scan of approximately 93 degrees.
PARCS and the FPQ-16 were built in the early 1970s, and its signal processing has received only superficial fixes since the site went online in 1975. PARCS uses 1960s-era technology, which is not widely used. Few sources are available for depot-level repair on failed components.
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 sidelobe 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.
FPQ-16 Phased Array Radar