Radar Cross Section (RCS) and Stealth
Thursday, May 9, 2019 14:00 -15:00 EDT
Radar cross section (RCS) is an important characteristic of military vehicles, such as aircraft, warships, and tanks. RCS is the effective cross-sectional area of the target as seen by the radar. It’s measured in square meters (m2) or decibels above a square meter (dBm2). Alternatively, the RCS of a target can be considered to be the cross section of a metal sphere (in m2) yielding the same return amplitude as the target. The RCS depends on many parameters such as:
- Relative size (size vs wavelength),
- Target material/painting or coating, and
The RCS of a warship will vary significantly with the look angle, from as little as 20 dBsm to as much as 60 dBsm broadside. RCS is also polarization sensitive; for example, aircraft with long wings will have a strong horizontal polarization component while vertically oriented surfaces will contribute to the vertical polarization component.
Reducing the RCS and general target detectability of military vehicles improves their combat survivability and enhances their general military utility. Stealth indicates reduction in all signatures:
- Radar signature reduction techniques
– Hiding the engines
– Avoiding vertical surfaces
– Avoiding internal angles
– Hiding antennas
– Radar absorptive materials (RAM)
- Minimize Radio Emissions
- Direction Transmission/Reflections
RCS reduction techniques are less effective against long wavelength radars, ones for which the radar wavelength is comparable to the target size.
Dr. Clayton Stewart has over 40 years of experience across the spectrum of research direction, line management, program management, system engineering, engineering education, flight operations, and R&D. He has had extensive involvement as Technical Director, Principal Investigator, Operation Manager, Director of Research, Program Manager, Associate Professor, Chief Scientist, Member of the Technical Staff, and Aircrew Member.
Previously (2007-2013) he was Technical Director, US Office of Naval Research Global, in London where he directed 50 engineers and scientists deployed globally. Before that (1994-2007) he was Corporate VP/General Manager SAIC, $120M/yr R&D operation; 500 technical and administrative staff. From 1990 to 1994 he was Associate Professor Electrical and Computer Engineering/Associate Director, Center of Excellence in Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence at George Mason University. From 1987 to 1990 he was at ARCO Power Technologies, Inc., as Program Manager Artificial Ionospheric Mirror OTH Radar Program. He was Member of the Technical Staff: Sperry Corporation, Chief Scientist Signal Processing (1984-1987); Director Tactical Systems USAF Studies & Analyses, Pentagon. (1982-1984); and US Air Force Academy Associate Professor of EE, Director of Research. (1978-1982). He earned his PhDEE (1978) at the Air Force Institute of Technology. Aircrew member (EWO) in USAF 1965-1974.
Dr. Stewart currently works at University College London in the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering as a Visiting Professor where he teaches short courses on cyber security, C4ISR, and Electronic Warfare.
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