Neptun (radar)

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Display device of FuG 218 Neptun
Me 262 with AI radar FuG 218 Neptun

Neptun ('Neptune') was the code name of a series of low-to-mid-VHF band airborne intercept radar devices developed by Germany in World War II and used as active targeting devices in several types of aircraft. They were usually combined with a so-called "backwards warning device", indicated by the addition of the letters "V/R" ("Vorwärts/Rückwärts",meaning Forward/Backward). Working in the metre range, Neptun was meant as a stop-gap solution until scheduled SHF-band devices became available (for instance the FuG 240/E cavity magnetron-based Berlin AI radar).[1]

Transceiving antennas used for the Neptun on twin-engined night fighters usually used a Hirschgeweih (stag's antlers) eight-dipole array with shorter elements than the previous 90 MHz SN-2 radar had used, or as an experimental fitment, the 90°-crossed twin-element set Yagi based Morgenstern single-mast-mounted array.

Variants[edit]

FuG 216: Experimental series to plan the further development

Installed in Fw 190 A-6/R11 and Bf 109 G-6 [2]

The aircraft were used by NJGr 10 until March 1944, after which some machines of 6./JG 300 (Kommando Plöger) were equipped.[3]

  • Manufacturer: Flugfunkforschungsinstitut Oberpfaffenhofen (FFO, German for "airborne radio research institute" in Bavaria)
  • R1 version (backwards warning device)
  • Frequency: 182MHz
  • Power: 1.0kW
  • Transmitting and reveiving antennas each consist of twin dipoles, mounted under and above the wings, respectively
  • Single display device with distance readout
  • Frequency: 125MHz
  • Power: 1.2kW
  • Range: 500 to 3,500m
  • Antennas in the form of spikes or (Fw 190) as "antlers" on right and left wings

FuG 217: Installed mainly in Ju 88 G-6, only a few Bf 110 G-4, He 219 or Me 262 received the Neptun. It could be combined with the additional Elfe device to automatically measure the target distance and fire the guns at a pre-set range.[4]

  • Manufacturer: FFO
  • R2 version (backward warning device)
  • J2 version (for single-engined night fighters)
  • Ausführung V/R (combined night fighter and backward warning device for two-engined fighters)
  • Two switchable frequencies: 158 and 187MHz
  • Search angle: 120°
  • Range: 400 to 4,000m
  • Spike or "antler" antennas

FuG 218: mass-produced

  • Manufacturer: Siemens / FFO
  • R3 version (backward warning device)
  • J3 version (for single-engined night-fighters)
  • V/R version (combined night fighter and backward warning device for two-engined fighters)
  • Six switchable frequencies: 158 to 187MHz
  • Search angle: 120°
  • Range: 120 to 5,000m
  • Weight: 50kg
  • R3 and J3 with spike antennas and V/R with "antler" antennas.
  • G/R version (combined night fighter and backward warning device for two-engined fighters)
  • Only one single device built, replacing the 2kW transmitter with a 30kW transmitter. Range increased to up to 10km. This device was intended for the Dornier Do 335. "Antler" antennas.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Aders, p. 269
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-12-27. Retrieved 2011-12-26.
  3. ^ Aders, S. 210
  4. ^ Aders, S. 268