2019-04-01 Microwave Versus Radar Power

from FB group Bell Telephone of …

Apr 2

Sam Corcione
The Radars I worked on in the army were putting out peak power at 5 megawatts, but because it was listening most of the time, the average power was “only” 5 kilowatts, still equal to several microwave ovens. But it had to illuminate a huge slice of the sky.

In contrast the microwave sets that my roommates trained on were putting out only a few hundred milliwatts to a few tens of watts, depending on the distance. I put my finger in the horn of a radar training set putting out 1 watt, and I could just barely tell it was warmer than the ambient temperature. It used a reflex klystron tube similar to those used in a microwave radio for the telephone equipment. The reason they can go so far with so little power is because the dish antenna has huge gain, thousands of times, and the beam is directed at a small spot on the horizon. I would guesstimate that the radio sets for these antennas were putting out less than a hundred watts, which would take a long time to cook a chicken.

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