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Radar Cross Section (RCS)

Application Note
Jens Eberhard

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Content
 Introduction & Definitions
 Technology & Features
 Numerical Simulation
 Requirements
 Solver Choice
 Post-processing & Features
 Radar Absorbing Material (RAM)
 Radar Range Equation
 Applications

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Introduction
 RCS is a measure of how detect-able an
object is with a radar
 A larger RCS indicates that the object is more
easily detected
 RCS of an object is the cross-sectional
area of a perfectly reflecting sphere
that would produce the same reflection
as the object
 RCS is approximately only a property of the
object

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Introduction
 Factors that affect RCS
 Object size & frequency band
 Object material
 Shape & relief of surface
 Directivity & orientation
Typical RCS values for aircrafts
& other objects, ranging from
insects & birds up to large
ground vehicles & ships. The
RCS of a stealth aircraft is
typically multiple orders of
magnitude lower than a con-
ventional plane and is often
comparable to that of a small
bird or large insect.
www.aerospaceweb.org

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Design Features
 For low RCS  For high RCS
 Absorbent paint  Bare metal
 Smooth surfaces  Rounded surfaces
 Surfaces angled to reflect  Lots of bumps
somewhere other than  Antennas
towards the source
 Active cancellation

NASA Almond with low RCS

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Definitions
 Mono-static RCS: radar transmitter & receiver co-
located
 Bi-static RCS: transmitter & receiver at different
locations
 RCS: σ = 4π Ps / Pi = 4π R² |Es,FF|² / |Ei|²
 Ps = backscattered power of object
 Pi = intercepted power of object
 RCS units: σ[m²] or σ[dBsm] = 10 log σ[m²]
 SAsw: surface area of object / square wavelength
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Technology & Features
 Requirements for RCS  Difficulties
applications  Computing memory limit
 RCS scans for many angles because of large problems
 RCS scans for many design  Accuracy because of
parameters multiple reflections
 RCS mean values /  High simulation time for
medianized plots parameter studies
 RCS main-lobe value /  Full 3D-wave simulation
head-on value not applicable for
increasing frequency

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Technology & Features
RCS: Solver Choice
T-solver I-solver A-solver
Single-direction mono- X X X
static
Multiple-direction mono- X X
static
Bi-static X X X

Broadband X X

Electrical Size Mid-size Large Very large


SAsw ≤ 10k SAsw ≤ 100k SAsw > 10k..100k
Complex CAD X X

Radar Time-signal X

RAM coating X X

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Technology & Features
 Fast mono-static RCS settings in I-solver & A-solver
 For many scans
 For multiple polarizations

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Technology & Features
 RCS post-processing allows to calculate
 Mean value / medianized plot
 Main-lobe value / head-on value

Median RCS plot (by local


average) to see trends in
RCS behavior around an
aircraft

RCS dBsm
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Technology & Features
 RCS applications with many scan angles & multiple
x_offset
parameters
RCS dBsm winglength

Bi-static RCS for


many incident
angles at 10 GHz

Mono-static RCS scan with two parameters

x_offset=2.75m winglength=1.4m
projectil.cs t
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Technology & Features
 Features useful for RCS applications
 RCS Project templates
 Farfield result post-processing
 SAsw calculation (after meshing)

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Technology & Features
 Radar Absorbing Material (RAM)
 Three types of RAM available (at least)
 Resonant (single frequency)
 By lossy material coating of one-quarter wavelength
 Resulting in destructive wave interference
 Non-resonant magnetic (broadband)
 By particles suspended in epoxy or paint
 Dissipates radar energy over large surface area
 Non-resonant large volume
 By resistive carbon coating
 Limited absorbing bandwidth
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Technology & Features
 Radar Absorbing Material (RAM)
 Coating 7.6mm, eps=1.5-0.1i, mue=2.5-1.8i, at 1 GHz

Comparison: 3D-volume vs.


3m Coated layer simulation

Phi=0..180°

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Technology & Features
 Radar Range Equation allows to get a radar coverage
diagram for a given radar antenna
 Output is a distance plot
 Under Macros->Results->Farfield->Generate 3D Radar Range

Max. distance
covered by
= 70dBm radar ~400m
= -60dBm

Radar Antenna pattern at 10 GHz


Units are [m] instead of V/m
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Applications
 RCS of NASA almond  RCS of Global Hawk UAV

9.9in
Length 13.5m
Wingspan 35.4m

1.19 GHz, VV polarization

1 GHz, SAsw 2000


7 GHz, HH polarization 9.92 GHz, VV polarization
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Applications
 RCS of NASA almond  RCS of Global Hawk UAV
 Broadband response at
fine resolution

9.9in
Length 13.5m
Wingspan 35.4m

1.19 GHz, VV polarization

1..10 GHz, 0.1 GHz step size, 2h 45min sim.time


7 GHz, HH polarization 9.92 GHz, VV polarization
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Applications
 RCS for complex aircraft  RCS of an antenna
 Total RCS given by
 Structural mode RCS
(backscattering from antenna geometry)
 Antenna mode RCS
Theta=80 (absorbed energy that is scattered back
into space due to impedance mismatch
etc.)

10 GHz RCS dBsm 20λ


Theta=90 360° scan

Theta=100 Phi=60..120°, 5 GHz


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Applications
 Radar response in Time-Domain
 Farfield probe for E-field

Incident plane wave pulse

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Conclusion
 Numerical simulation of RCS enables to make fast
parameter studies & many RCS scans
 Mono-static & bi-static RCS scancs can be calculated &
analyzed easily using CST MICROWAVE STUDIO®
 With the solver technology typical difficulties are
overcome
 Post-processing features allow to extract required RCS
data

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