Arlie E. Judd Interview, 27 February 2001

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you get clutter and so if I read in your report about plasma and about all the other terminology that they use, but that was a good, hard target that was there, and then it moved to 12,000 yards and—
INT:And, plasma I mean, has that ever come up in your career as—
AJ:No. No. Never. Or they mentioned Northern Lights and Northern Lights are just definite Northern Lights. Once you see 'em they look the same. And they have St. Elmo's Fire in the aircraft, and when it gets static electricity so bad that it glows in side the plastic, the windows and it's just a phenomena, but it's just static electricity, but there's nothing—on the simulator they could generate these real hard targets, and it always was brighter than anything else you'd ever seen on the simulator, and then when the tanker would roll out behind, that was a good, hard, reflective target, and that showed bright, and this was in relationship to the tanker, 'cause that tanker had so much reflectivity at that range, and this one had the same reflectivity, but the reflectivity at 12,000 yards was still bright.
INT:So you can determine size, or is that just from experience that you know the relative size based on distance?
AJ:Well, when they're that close behind you, the size—the radar set is supposed to control that down through a clipper network to where all targets should be the same at 1,000 yards. But when they build the radar strength up, and when it gets farther out, then it builds up the strength to maintain a consistent target size so that you can lock on and track it. The signal strength to track is important at that time, but when that tanker would roll out behind you, sometimes the reflectivity—say it may just a few hundred yards, it would string that target all the way across the bottom of the scope at the first. I mean, it couldn't handle all that reflectivity, and then as soon as it got to maybe 500 yards or a little further out, then it would come down to the normal target size.
INT:Okay. So it was a pretty sensitive system?
AJ:Yes, it was very sensitive.
INT:Could you put it into a station keeping or how did that function? Could you limit the radiation?
AJ:You could, yeah. If you hit a control on the control handle, it would stop that antenna from the search cycle, and it would start what they call nodding up and down and it was looking for—what it was doing is when you found the target, you wanted to look directly at that target, and when it and it would show that target. When it centered that radar energy right on the target, that was what would trigger your lock on process, and once you

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