SCR-588 Medium Range Search/GCI/HF Radar Set - A Medium Range long wave Search/GCI/HF Radar set. Americanized version of the huge British CHL/GCI set built by the Canadian company, Research Enterprises Limited. This radar set could be used as both a medium range search radar and as a shorter range Ground Controlled Interception (GCI) radar with height finding capability.
SCR-588 Search/GCI/HF Radar
In the GCI role, the radar set would be sited at a low level with sloping terrain at the rear of the site to reduce unwanted returns and open flat terrain forward. In the GCI role the set had height finding capability in addition to range and azimuth determination. Range was limited to about 45 miles in the GCI mode. Suitable ground/air VHF radio equipment, such as the SCR-624, was required in the GCI role for operators to direct fighter aircraft to their targets.
In the search role, the set would be sited at an elevation between 100 and 1000 feet above an unobstructed surface, in many cases on a cliff above a shoreline.
In both roles, Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) equipment such as the RC-188 was required to identify friendly aircraft. Three PE-198 diesel generator sets were supplied with the radar set. Two running generators were required for normal operation. The set required 4 kW at 230 volts and 1 kW at 115 volts.
The operations area generally had three buildings with the operations building itself housing the radar equipment, the operator position displays and radar maintenance section. The operations building was generally a long distinctive building about 20' by 40' with a tall central chimney for the coal-fired heater. A separate 20' by 20' building housed the three generators. A third building was sometimes provided for the radio equipment and a gate shack provided security for the fenced compound.
The radar antenna was mounted nearby the operations building on concrete support pylons or a short 25' tower. The antenna itself resembled an open set of bed springs turned vertically and could be rotated continuously or intermittently by an operator.
Separate facilities, normally in a cantonment area, were provided to house the troops required to operate, maintain and support the radar site. In fixed locations operating 24/7 about 54 personnel were required and in practice this number might be supplied by a detachment from an AWS squadron. A typical site might have three single-story barracks, a separate latrine/washroom, a headquarters building, a supply/rec building and a chow hall. Other circumstances might find cantonment facilities provided by existing military posts or by civilian communities.
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