Portable RF Target Simulator
Authors: David Wayne, Andrew Schlegel, Steve Nichols, Don Bodnar, Doren Hess, George Cawthon, Anil Tellakula, Jeff Skinner, Trung Dam, Bill Myles, Harvey Gratt
RF guided missile developers require flight simulation of their target engagements to develop their RF seeker. This usually involves the seeker mounted on a Flight Motion Simulator (FMS) as well as an RF target simulator that simulates the signature and motion of the target. Missile intercept engagements are unique in that they involve highly dynamic relative motion in a short period of time. This puts demanding requirements on the RF target simulator to adequately present the desired phase slope, amplitude, and polarization to the seeker antenna and electronics under test.
This paper describes a newly installed RF Target Simulator that addresses these requirements in a unique fashion. The design utilizes a compact range reflector, dynamically rotated in two axes as commanded by the flight simulation computer, to produce the desired changing phase slope and an RF feed network dynamically controlled to produce the desired changing polarization and amplitude. Physical optics analysis establishes an accurate correlation between reflector physical rotation and resulting angle-of-arrival of the wave front in the quiet zone. The RF Target Simulator is self contained in a two-man portable anechoic chamber that can be disengaged from the FMS and rolled to and from the FMS as needed. Measurements are presented showing the performance of the RF Target Simulator.