The 7 Common Habits of Highly Effective RF Target Simulators

Author: David J. Wayne
Publication: AMTA 2017
Copyright Owner: NSI-MI Technologies

The evaluation of RF Sensors often requires a test capability where various RF targets are presented to the Unit Under Test (UUT). These targets may need to be dynamic in time, represent multiple targets and/or decoys, emulate dynamic motion, and simulate real world RF environmental conditions. An RF Target Simulator can be employed to perform these functions and is the focus of this paper. The total test system is usually called Hardware in the Loop (HITL) involving the UUT mounted on a Flight Motion Simulator (FMS), the RF Target Simulator presenting the RF Scene, and a Simulation Computer that dynamically controls everything in real-time. The realization of a highly effective target simulator, one that truly meets the user’s needs at an affordable cost, is the result of understanding the complex interrelationship of requirements, architecture and constraints. This paper examines those relationships in seven areas of discussion, employing examples of realized systems;

  • Determining the necessary test zone volume
  • Determining the necessary quality of RF target signal
  • Sizing the field of view, range and facilities
  • Creating each target’s RF signal
  • Creating RF target motion
  • Integration and real-time operation within the range
  • Locating and minimizing the effects of error sources


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