AN/FPS-6, 6A, 6B

The AN/FPS-6 radar was introduced into service in the late 1950s and served as the principal height-finder radar for the United States for several decades thereafter. Built by General Electric, the S-band radar radiated at a frequency of 2700 to 2900 MHz. Between 1953 and 1960, 450 units of the AN/FPS-6 and the mobile AN/MPS-14 version were produced.

AN/MPS-14 photo from around 1955 at the Verona test site, on a hardstand where Space Command was later (1986) located.

Radar systems at General Electric's facility in Syracuse, NY, 20 October 1954. AN/MPS-14 in the foreground, AN/FPS-6 in the background.

Technical Specs: (Radio Research catalog)
The FPS-6 radar is capable of height determination of targets flying between elevation angles of - 2 and +32 degrees for any azimuth through-out 360 deg. The transmitter develops a peak power of 5 Megawatts at a frequency range of 2.7 to 2.9 GHz. The pulse width is 2 usec at a PRF of 400 PPS. Maximum indication range is 200 nautical miles with height measurement capability to 75,000 feet. Both ranges are readily expandable. Data is displayed on two 12 RHI indicators and mechanical counter assemblies. The antenna type is a truncated semiparabolic reflector with associated waveguide feed sections. Input power requirements are 208V, 30, 60 Hz. This radar is also suited for very high power search functions.

Frequency: 2700 to 2900 MHz
Power Output: 5 MW, peak
Magnetron Type: QK-338A
Range: 300 naut mi
Vertical Coverage: Minus 2 to plus 32 deg angular
Vertical Scanning Rate: 20 or 30 cpm
Azimuth Resolution: 3.2 deg
Elevation Accuracy: 1000 ft
Horizontal Beam Width: 3.2 deg

Antenna Pointing, from the September 1967 C&E Digest