|| GSR (GROUND SURVEILLANCE RADAR) |
Trooper Reflections on the GSR
Contributors: Coop Loren Sundell
GSR Ground Surveillance Radar: As mentioned in prior write-ups there was no standard tactics for the use of A Troop's tracks particularly in regard to the mortar and radar tracks. What follows is general information on the GSR and its designed usage.
GSR was short-range surveillance radar that was designed using 1950's technology to detect a target. To detect a target the radar set needed to receive echoes from a fixed object together with the echo from a moving target. The radar presented audio indications of targets; the unit was constantly receiving echoes. However a highly skilled operator would be able to sort out the background echoes from the target echoes that were being indicated audibly to the operator. The so-called stationary background, moved. Trees, bushes, shrubs, reedy grass, and etc. For example: if it was a breezy night, the inexperienced Operator could be up half the night, thinking that Ho Chi Minh, was about to jump out of the bushes at any moment.
GSR was frequently used in NDP and Fire Support Bases to cover the most likely avenues of approach and thus giving forewarning of an impending attack. Primary operating hours for the GSR were during the darkness when visibility was limited. When a target was detected the operator would give coordinates, description, and direction of movement. If a fire mission was ordered the GSR could be used to observe impact and make adjustments. The ability to detect and locate enemy movement required an experienced operator, not only with the GSR but also with the AO.
Portable self-contained GSR operated by batteries; about four feet in height when mounted on its tripod. The dish and controls were all part of a single unit; earphones were plugged into it to monitor activity while unit was manually panned back and forth searching for activity. Typical range of detection was within 1000 meters; tree lines and other obstacles would restrict range. It would not be unrealistic to detect targets at much greater ranges in ideal circumstances.
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