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К юбилею А. А. Зачепицкого


К юбилею А. А. Зачепицкого.

For citations:

., ., ., . . Journal of «Almaz – Antey» Air and Space Defence Corporation. 2019;(3):99-102.

November 21, 2019, is the 90th birthday of Alex­ander Aronovich Zachepitsky, the Chief Designer of radar stations (radars) who is also among the pioneers of VHF-band radars. Alexander Aronovich has been working with radars for al­most seven decades now. His name is well known among the military, radar engineers and scientific community. The products developed by him are really unique pieces with outstanding characte­ristics, and, what is most important, in demand in air defence forces.

Former student of Faculty of Radiophysics of Gorky State University (GGU), A. A. Zachepit- sky (Fig. 1) is brilliantly educated. It can be said that the period of his study was truly remarkable due to the teaching staff consisting of founding professors of the radio faculty. The Dean of the Faculty, Maria Tikhonovna Grekhova, is an out­standing science developer. Among the lecturers, there were such personalities as the future Nobel Prize laureate - Academician Vitaly Lazarevich Ginzburg, as well as Academician Alexander Alexandrovich Andronov, Professor Gabriel Se­menovich Gorelik.

Fig. 1. A. A. Zachepitsky

Having graduated from the University, Alexander Aronovich was assigned to the Experimental Design Bureau of the Ministry of Avia­tion Industry (P. O. box 416) in Kazan. Over his time working there he became one of the acknow­ledged specialists dealing with the development of new technologies. He twice won competitions aimed at introducing new technologies at the manufacturing plant. In Kazan, Alexander Aro­novich acquired considerable scientific and tech­nical experience and felt confident in his skills.

The aviation industry required that not only should any device comply with the functional pa­rameters, but also be most cost-effective in terms of size, power consumption, and other characte­ristics. Solving any engineering task in the most rational way is what he aspires to throughout his life.

In the spring of 1956, A. A. Zachepitsky started working with the Design Bureau SKB-197 of the Plant named after V. I. Lenin (now known as Nizhny Novgorod Research Institute of Radio En­gineering (NNIIRT)). Over 50 years he worked his way up from the Design Engineer to the General Designer - Deputy Director in Research Work. Head of the Design Bureau was G. K. Kiselev, and according to Alexander Aronovich, working under his direction during 25 years was the best experience in his life. Chief Engineer was E. V. Bukhvalov.

Alexander Aronovich had a chance to work with such well-known chief designers as V. I. Ovsyanikov (Radar P-14, Radar P-70) and Yu. N. Sokolov (Radar ST-67). Yu. N. Sokolov was also Head of the 1st laboratory, an inspiring atmosphere of which gave birth to many promi­nent specialists. Later on, A. A. Zachepitsky be­came Head of the 8th department incorporating the best traditions of the 1st laboratory. Thus, each specialist, in addition to the development of radar components, was dealing with the cor­responding theoretical task. Scientific and tech­nical workshops were a place to learn for young specialists and became a source of the the most skilled personnel of the enterprise. Specialists of other enterprises also attended these workshops. A prominent person related to radar engineering, Yakov Davidovich Shirman participated the work­shop several times.

In the early 1960s, Alexander Aronovich was appointed Deputy Chief Designer of radar P-70 (“Lena M”), at the time a unique piece of equipment, implementing new principles and ap­proaches to radar engineering. The concept of radar signal compression was developed under supervision of A. A. Zachepitsky. Such a new development demanded complete revision of the radar transceivers’ construction methods. Jus­tification of these tasks became the subject of a great number of scientific works and inventions of A. A. Zachepitsky and his colleagues. P-70 was the world’s first commercially available radar using signal compression. For the totality of scientific and technical achievements, Alexander Aronovich was awarded the title of laureate of State Award in science as a member of the team headed by Ya. D. Shirman.

The task undertaken by Alexander Aro­novich in 1975 seemed to be insoluble at that time: to create a three-dimensional radar station in the VHF-range characterized by interference immu­nity and high positioning accuracy. The team of R&D “Ugol” and design and development work “Nebo” (55Zh6), with A. A. Zachepitsky as Re­search Supervisor and Chief Designer, were up to find a solution to this problem. The importance of this research and its significance to the country are confirmed by the fact that the research was super­vised by CPSU Central Committee and the Mili­tary-Industrial Commission of the USSR Council of Ministers Presidium. Radar 55Zh6 was one of the first radar stations equipped with phased array, implementing analogue processing of signals. It should be noted that Radar 55Zh6 had neither do­mestic, nor foreign analogues. Most of technical solutions implemented in it are unique, and this fact has been reflected in a large number of pub­lications and patents. Among them is a complex signal processing technique (Barker code), imple­menting band-pass filtering and hard limiting with subsequent compression. Such an approach solved the problem of numerous radio-frequency interfe­rences and side lobes of the compressed signal and allowed to stabilize the frequency of false alarm actuation. It is also worth noting that the elevation measurement technique was implemented on the basis of spectral analyser. This radar station be­came a basic model for further developments, like two- and three-dimensional VHF-range radars.

The idea of three-dimensional VHF-range radars was further expanded in the development work “Nebo-U”. As a result, the radar station was created comprising digital antenna array with high accuracy of angular coordinate measurement, that was previously achievable only in L- and S-band radars. This was made possible through digital processing by suppressing the signal re­flected from the ground surface that distorts meas­urements at low elevation angles. Both research works are rewarded with the State Awards.

The period of Radar 55Zh6U development and state testing during 1990s was marked by cer­tain difficulties everyone had to face at that time. V. V. Moskalenko became the Director of NNIIRT, and Alexander Aronovich played a crucial role in his appointment. In 1994, A. A. Zachepitsky was appointed General Designer of NNIIRT, and lat­er on - Deputy Director for Research Work. As a result of joint efforts of A. A. Zachepitsky and V. V. Moskalenko, the Institute achieved the status of a model and prosperous establishment.

The next research work A. A. Zachepitsky was focused on was the construction of one-of-a- kind mobile multi-band radar complex combining the advances of radars of different wavebands, which is known under the name Radar Complex “Nebo-M”. This development work was initiated by Alexander Aronovich acting as its first Chief Designer. Under his supervision, the detail and engineering design of the radar complex was ap­proved. After Alexander Aronovich left NNIIRT, this research work was headed by his student, Alexander Davidovich Bomshtein. His active initiative, insistence, ingenuity, and diligence resulted in manufacturing of a test specimen that was introduced into mass production and provid­ed to the troops.

In addition to the above mentioned ra­dars developed under direct supervision of A. A. Zachepitsky, his innovative approach is used in almost all NNIIRT developments. A great con­tribution was made by him to the development of radar technologies and to research and applica­tion of complex signals, active noise interference autocompensation methods and moving targets selection methods.

However, not only breakthrough ideas im­plemented in real inventions awarded by high State Awards, are the reason of A. A. Zachepitsky fame, but also the fact that all the products developed by him were taken into service and introduced into mass production. They are still used by radio­radar troops, being in a state of alert as a reliable means of controlling national airspace. The main manufacturer of radars developed by A. A. Za­chepitsky is PJSC “NITEL”: 119 Radars 55Zh6 and 90 Radars 55Zh6U were manufactured there.

After working in NNIIRT for half a centu­ry, A. A. Zachepitsky retired from the Institute in 2005. This was followed by a new challenge: the work in Design Bureau “Lyra”, which, as a result of transformations and mergers, became part of PJSC “ALMAZ R&P Corp.”, where Alexander Aronovich is currently working. A number of de­velopment works have been carried out here under his supervision, including, among others, “Primer” aimed at improvement of four radar articles: 19Zh6, PRV-16, 57U6, PRV-13. A. A. Zachepitsky is an authority figure who played a major role in bringing all the developers participating in this de­velopment work together and ensuring the adop­tion of unified technical solutions by all of them. A. A. Zachepitsky supervised modernization of Radar 55Zh6, which resulted in improvement of article’s technical and performance character­istics.

A. A. Zachepitsky is currently taking an ac­tive part in the development of prospective ways of improvement of radar equipment, and is work­ing with order-placing departments and Military Institute of the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation. His current activity is aimed at drawing up proposals for the State Defence Orders and State Armaments Program.

There is a photograph especially precious for Alexander Aronovich, illustrating the im­portance of his researches. It pictures Alexander Aronovich in one line with outstanding chief de­signers, starting from A. A. Raspletin, P. D. Grush­in, S. A. Lavochkin, and others. This commemora­tive plaque is installed in the centre of zone 10 (at the territory of present Znamensk town), opposite the main headquarters of the military unit (Fig. 2).

Рис. 2. Главные конструкторы ПВО

A. A. Zachepitsky is one of the founders of the scientific school that gave birth to many scientists, chief designers and heads of enterprises. He is the author of 25 inventor’s certificates and patents and more than 80 scientific works. For several years he was a lecturer at the Faculty of Radiophysics of Lobachevsky State Universi­ty of Nizhny Novgorod, where, being involved in the training of young specialists, he read two special courses on statistical radiophysics and initiated several laboratory researches. For the following attendants the workshop directed by A. A. Zachepitsky became a basis for profes­sional growth and development: four doctors of sciences: Yu. I. Pakhomov, M. A. Leykikh, A. B. Blyakhman, M. A. Ostrovsky; as well as the following leading specialists: V. M. Mareskin, USSR State Award laureate, Chief Engineer of NNIIRT; N. N. Makhrova, Chief Designer of ra­dar stations, Candidate of Engineering Sciences; A. D. Bomshtein, Russian Federation State Award laureate, Chief Designer of radar stations; V. V. Bashev, Russian Federation State Award lau­reate, Director of R&P Center “Altair” (“Almaz”); O. D. Grachev, Chief Engineer of R&P Center “LEMZ”, Chief Designer of radar stations; V. N. Talanov, Chief Designer of radar stations, the ideologist of a major part of the NNIIRT re­searches. Scientific and technical level of all the developers increased significantly.

A. A. Zachepitsky is a person who devoted his life to work. But nevertheless, he always managed to find some time for sports and creativity. The sports practised by Alexander Aronovich that help him to maintain excellent physical shape and be capable of working productively are worthy of admiration. A. A. Zachepitsky prefers alpine skiing among other sports. A funny story happened once when he was on a journey to a ski resort. On being asked by the customs officer, what was the pur­pose of his journey, Alexander Aronovich offered a simple answer: “Alpine skiing”. When hearing this, the customs officer seriously mistook 85-year old Alexander Aronovich for a madman!

Among Alexander Aronovich’s other hob­bies, volleyball and boat riding should also be men­tioned. He continues to maintain good physical shape by walking at least 8 thousand steps a day, regardless of the weather.

Being a truly creative person in the broadest sense, Alexander Aronovich is also known for his interest in poetry. His poems - serious, humorous and lyrical, funny lectures he used to give at New Year celebrations, humorous essays bring delight to his family, friends, and colleagues. Already a third edition is being prepared with poems and memoirs by A. A. Zachepitsky under the title “Between Jokes and Seriousness”.

About the Authors

О. Грачев
Russian Federation

С. Коган
Russian Federation

Е. Маврычев
Russian Federation

И. Рунова
Russian Federation


For citations:

., ., ., . . Journal of «Almaz – Antey» Air and Space Defence Corporation. 2019;(3):99-102.

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ISSN 2542-0542 (Print)