Microprocessor requirements needed for a terminally-guided, 1700 kilometer range ballistic missile?

Working on a technical study related to the now-retired Pershing 2 ballistic missile. The Pershing 2 used a radar correlation package in the re-entry vehicle for terminal guidance. And maybe some kind of passive imaging infrared system. In order to control its terminal maneuvers, it would have had to have some kind of microprocessor capable of extremely high speed calculations. I'm curious what kind of the characteristics of such a microprocessor would be, in terms of speed, size, and also materials (would have to be able to withstand both extreme cold and extreme heat). Thanks!

3 Answers

  • sciguy
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Might I ask why exactly you're messing with such weapons?

    Although, in the spirit of telling you things that are a far cry from secret, I'd say you could probably use something as simple as a PIC microcontroller or BASIC stamp; most modern microprocessors are capable of the requisite calculations, and given simple thermal shielding would probably be fine at those temperature ranges.

  • 1 decade ago

    Aw, now you've done it. Got your web address on a national registry list. As with any military product, every 5 years, the electronics are obsolete but functional. Consider the driving package on the anti aircraft/missle package on ships. 10+ years ago it was a PDP 8 DEC system with core memory. ( more computing power in a Furbee). Now it is something else and much faster but just as reliable. When using machine language systems, a good programmer can make a dog of a micro, perform better than a Pentium with a co-prossessor. Look at the packages available. Why do you think the ceramic package is so expensive? Heat tolerance. Why rad hard packeges are so expensive?

    Lots of stuff available (sometimes only to the military because of expense or national security) You may not get into the loop until you go to work for a company that has the contract to improve/replace things.

    Source(s): Worked on items that someone fed back some feedback when we provided stuff the military liked. Getting the requirements right required clearences.
  • 1 decade ago

    Microcontrollers can withstand very low temperatures. Some people even cool their PC processors with liquid nitrogen.

    But you should avoid high temperatures.

    Just give the thing a good heat insulation and it will be fine. The rocket is probably only exposed to high temperatures for a few minutes.

    You can use any microcontroller. They are all able to do millions of calculations per second.

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