Radar cross section (RCS) is a characteristic of an object that indicates how much energy it reflects back towards a radar. RCS is used to evaluate how easily an object can be detected and tracked by a radar system. This characteristic of land-based, sea-going, and airborne platforms has become increasingly important to military customers worldwide. Sophisticated measurement systems are needed to assess RCS and ensure that the platform is meeting its radar signature design goals. AMETEK NSI-MI provides state-of-the-art radar cross section measurement systems suitable for measuring small-scale test articles and/or full-scale vehicles depending on customer requirements.
AMETEK NSI-MI has designed, constructed and fielded radar cross section systems for its U.S. and international military customers for many years. We have the expertise required to assess RCS requirements and design state-of-the art system solutions by integrating advanced radar instrumentation, target support, motion control, and data acquisition/processing capabilities. NSI-MI works closely with customers to analyze RCS needs and operational aspects to determine the most cost-effective measurement solution.
Evaluation consists of measuring the "whole body" RCS of a target at a particular frequency over various aspect angles to determine a radar signature level for the entire platform. This information is used to estimate how easily a radar will be able to detect the target. An evaluation measurement normally is used to transmit a single frequency toward the target in order to sample the return. The target is rotated by one or more axes to assess the absolute RCS for the target over a spatial sector.
The goal of diagnosis is to characterize the radar reflections caused by the targets' components (wings, fuselage, engines, etc.). With this information, an object's design can be changed to reduce its RCS signature. High-resolution radar images of the down range and cross range response of an object are required in order to perform diagnostic measurements. In this mode, the target is rotated as in evaluation measurement with the addition of being illuminated with a wideband signal at each aspect angle.
RCS measurements can be obtained in a variety of test configurations. NSI-MI Technologies has experience with compact ranges, outdoor far-field test ranges and indoor far-field anechoic chambers supplied with compact range equipment. While the type of facility used impacts the types of measurements that can be performed, NSI-MI Technologies has the experience and the technical know-how to design, install and operate the most efficient RCS facility to meet your needs.