Project Vanguard Report No. 23. Minitrack Report No. 3, Receiver System
NAVAL RESEARCH LAB WASHINGTON DC WASHINGTON
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The Minitrack system is designed to acquire and track artificial earth satellites which Project Vanguard will attempt to place in orbits as part of the United States effort in the International Geophysical Year. The satellites will be provided with 108-Mc signal sources to illuminate the tracking stations. These sources will radiate sufficient power to permit the desired tracking accuracy. The Minitrack system functions as a radio interferometer, providing the direction cosines of a satellites position vector with respect to the tracking stations at any given instant during a transit. The receiving equipment must amplify the signals obtained from the satellites via interferometer antenna pairs, with the introduction of a minimum of noise and differential phase shift, and by means of a unique double-local oscillator principle translate this intelligence to a frequency readily adaptable to phase measurement. This report describes, with schematics, the five units comprising a single rf channel, i.e., a pair of front ends, a signal adder, a combined i-f amplifier, a special local oscillator, and a calibration source.