Requirements and Limitations of Boost-Phase Ballistic Missile Intercept Systems   [open pdf - 2MB]

"The objective of this thesis is to investigate the requirements and limitations of boost phase ballistic missile intercept systems that contain an interceptor and its guidance sensors (both radar and infrared). A three-dimensional computer model is developed for a multi-stage target with a boost phase acceleration profile that depends on total mass, propellant mass and the specific impulse in the gravity field. The radar cross-section and infrared radiation of the target structure is estimated as a function of the flight profile. The interceptor is a multi-stage missile that uses fused target location data provided by two ground-based radar sensors and two low earth orbit infrared sensors. Interceptor requirements and limitations are derived as a function of its initial position from the target launch point and the launch delay. Sensor requirements are also examined as a function of the signal-to-noise ratio during the target flight. Electronic attack considerations within the boost phase are also addressed including the use of decoys and noise jamming techniques. The significance of this investigation is that the system components within a complex boost phase intercept scenario can be quantified and requirements for the sensors can be numerically derived."

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