AMTA Paper Archive
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Analysis of Ground-Bounce Illumination Errors on Ground-to-Ground Diagnostic Measurements of Aircraft
We present a first-order analysis of the RCS errors resulting from non-uniform ground-bounce illumination in mobile, ground-to-ground, diagnostic RCS measurements of aircraft. For the case of a non-planar ground surface, these errors are a function of both aspect angle and position on the target. We quantify the errors in terms of their impact on the sector mean RCS as a function of position on the target. For typical targets, we show that the mean RCS error increases significantly for points displaced (either horizontally or vertically) from the calibration point. Conversely, the sector mean RCS is relatively insensitive to small-scale variations in the height of the ground, even though the errors at a single frequency and aspect angle can be quite large.
Rotorcraft Measurement Capability at the National RCS Test Facility
The National RCS Test Facility (NRTF) has measured radar cross section (RCS) of fixed wing aircraft for many years. In order to expand our testing options at the NRTF Mainsite test facility, the NRTF has developed a rotorcraft measurement capability. The design is compatible for use with our 50-foot pylon, but unlike existing rotators, allows for RCS measurement of test articles that require significant forward and aft target pitches. Target mounting and positioning was not the only challenge. Our new capability required the control and collection of rotor blade position information, in addition to the control and collection of traditional target azimuth and elevation data. Modification of our existing acquisition software and command and control systems was also required. In order to maintain the integrity of the NRTF’s calibration processes and enable the use of existing calibration devices, hardware was constructed to enable mounting of these devices to the spindle system. Other important considerations that influenced the design and implementation of the spindle mount capability include cost effective mounting/dismounting of test articles (to include the targets and calibration devices) safety of the test articles and personnel, and the effective determination of backgrounds.
RCS Measurements with a High Resolution Hardgating System
In general, the RF test setups of antenna test facilities are designed and optimized for antenna pattern and gain measurements. However, the operation of test facilities, especially the here considered 'Double Reflector Compact Ranges', can be extended, so that they can also be used for RCS testing. A simple and very practical expansion of the RF antenna test setup - while maintaining the real-time capability - can be achieved with the aid of a hardware gating system. With this type of setup, RCS measurements have successfully been performed in the Compensated Compact Ranges of EADS Astrium. The applied gating system was the high resolution Hard- gating System HG2000 of EADS Astrium, developed together with the Munich Univ. of App. Sciences. Within this paper, the applied facility and the gating system will be described firstly. Subsequently, the modified test setup and the test results obtained by calibration measurements will be shown. They will give an indication of the achievable resolution for the extended test system w.r.t. object size detection and resulting amplitude dynamic range.
Evaluation of an Ultra wide Bandwidth Phased Array Antenna for Indoor V/UHF RCS Measurements
CAMELIA is one of the three anechoïc chambers of the French Atomic Energy Center (CEA). It is equipped with a compact range reflector and a pulsed radar allowing antenna and RCS measurements from 800 MHz to 18 GHz. Below 800 MHz, measurements are made with different kind of antennas (log- periodic, horns, arrays…). Nevertheless, measurements at such low frequencies suffer from serious artifacts due to coupling effects. This paper describes a particular array we designed, realized and characterized to cover the 100 MHz – 2000 MHz bandwidth. Although the antenna diagram shape was the most constraining factor, the ability to cover the whole bandwidth with as few handling as possible was the major issue.
Study of RCS Measurements from a Large Flat Plate
Abstract. We present new RCS measurements from an 8-foot square flat plate for frequencies from 0.15 to 5.5 GHz. Guided by the theory, we study the peak RCS at normal incidence, the principal plane pattern, and the 3-dB beam-width in detail. The broadside echo from the plate is found to be extremely narrow at higher frequencies. From the errors, we estimate that the wave-field experienced by the plate is reasonably uniform to within +0.3 dB, over a wide dynamic range of 60 dB.
Obtaining High Quality RCS Measurements with a Very Large Foam Column
A large compact range facility required a foam column for RCS testing where the center of the quiet zone was six meters above the floor level. The RCS measurement after vector background subtraction, had to be accurate down to a –50 dBsm level from 1.5 GHz to 40 GHz. A foam column was constructed from a single billet of material. The foam column was evaluated as to its RCS level in both whole body and ISAR imaging modes. This paper describes the specification, construction and RCS evaluation of this column in the compact range facility. The column was evaluated at single frequencies and with RCS images from 2 GHz to 36 GHz using a gated CW radar. Data is presented that shows the effects of the column on the response of a calibration sphere and the response of the column itself. A study of the foam column imaging response used as the background for vector background subtraction is also described. Targets in the –60 dBsm range were successfully imaged with vector background subtraction of the foam column.
RCS Measurements of LO-Targets in a High Clutter Environment using SAR and ISAR
ABSTRACT Conventional radar cross-section measurement ranges have limitations. Indoor anechoic chamber ranges have limitations with respect to the size of the objects that can be measured. Outdoor RCS ranges cannot be used in bad weather conditions and also pose a security problem when the designs are classified or proprietary. Limitations in availability are also common for both outdoor and indoor ranges. An alternative is to use a conventional lab area. The key to successful measurements of LO-targets in such high clutter environments is efficient coherent background subtraction. Coherent background subtraction was performed for ISAR and SAR and compared to the zero-Doppler subtraction method for ISAR in this study. The results from the measurements are compared with calculated results. We find that the ISAR and SAR techniques are comparable in performance but that it is advantageous to use ISAR for small objects due to practical reasons. We conclude that both SAR and ISAR can be utilized for LO targets.
Pattern Measurement Demonstration of an Untouchable Antenna
A method is presented to measure the antenna pattern of an AUT where the antenna port is inaccessible. That means that it is not possible to connect a test cable, nor can the termination be changed physically. In some cases there is no test port at all. The only variation possible is to change the input impedance of the first receiver or LNA by switching it on and off. An RCS-technique can be used to retrieve the radiation pattern. By experimental comparison between the conventional pattern measurement technique and the RCS-technique it is shown that pattern determination via RCS-measurements is feasible. In addition, the measurement method offers the advantage of directly reducing the influence of systematic measurement errors. On the other hand, the penalty is put on power efficiency and a subsequent limited dynamic range.
National RCS Test Facility (NRTF) Pit 9 Range Book Review
The paper deals with the Range Book review process, and in part describes the evaluation of the National RCS Test Facility (NRTF) Pit 9 Range Book against the criteria approved by the Range Commander’s Council Signatures Measurement Standards Group (RCC/SMSG). In addition, the paper discusses issues common to the range community. Three RCC/SMSG approved reviewers and one observer were charged with reviewing the processes and procedures documented in the RCMS Range Book against published criteria based on the ANSI-Z540 standard [1, 2, 3]. The paper discusses the process used by the evaluators to perform reviews, the selection of and need for reviewers, documentation issues, the quantification of weather factors, and lessons learned. In addition, the paper details some of the benefits of the Range Book Review process.
Measurement of Backscattering from RFID Tags
This paper presents a method for measuring signal backscattering from an RFID tag and calculating tag radar cross-section (RCS), which depends on the chip input impedance. We present a derivation of a theoretical formula for RFID tag radar cross-section and an experimental RCS measurement method using a network analyzer connected to an antenna in an anechoic chamber where the tag is also located. The return loss of the antenna measured with and without the tag present in the chamber allows one to calculate the power backscattered from the tag and find tag RCS. Measurements were performed in anechoic chamber using RFID tag operating the base station (called “RFID reader”). RFID tag antenna is loaded with the chip whose impedance switches between two impedance states, usually high and low. At each impedance state, RFID tag presents a certain radar cross section (RCS). The tag sends the information back by varying its input impedance and thus modulating the back-scattered signal.
Monochromatic Multistatic Radar Imaging
ABSTRACT Conventional radar imaging techniques combine information in angle and frequency to obtain the location of the scatterers which contribute to the radar cross section (RCS) of a target. From these information, supposing that the scatterers have a white and isotropic behavior, a high resolution 2D image can be built. However, in certain circumstances (for example low frequency), the narrowness of the available frequency band and/or the frequency dependence of the scatterers may limit the resolution of the produced images. To circumvent this difficulty, an imaging technique based on multistatic data at fixed frequency is proposed. The use of monochromatic data to image a target was already studied in monostatic configuration. In this case, even if the resolution is very fine, the presence of high sidelobe which decrease slowly limits this technique to target’s reflectivity produced by a limited number of reflectors. In multistatic configuration, the situation is more favorable because weighting functions can be applied to control the level of the sidelobes. To illustrate the performances of this imaging technique, images obtained from the response of various targets measured at low frequencies are presented. Keywords: multistatic RCS, monochromatic radar imaging,
Hand Held Imaging Verification Radar for LO Platforms Using Radar/Target Location Registration
A portable, handheld imaging verification radar (HIVeR) system is designed to verify the RCS integrity of a low observable (LO) platform. The HIVeR is the latest generation to a previously designed and field-tested system (SARBAR) that produced radar images of targets in real-time. For applications with LO aircraft, an objective of the present technology is to extend the first-generation SARBAR system performance to easier use, higher sensitivity, and effective pass/fail decisions for selected regions on the aircraft outer mold line (OML). A novelty of the HIVeR design is an automatic registration scheme incorporated into the radar set. The location and orientation of the HIVeR unit is continually recorded using a precision position and orientation monitoring system. This registration process locates the handheld radar antenna position and orientation with respect to a fixed coordinate system. Similarly, the region-of-interest (ROI) on the aircraft surface is registered in this fixed coordinate system. An important feature of the new HIVeR is its capability to form calibrated radar images along a surface defined by the OML of the LO aircraft. This enables the radar to produce images that can be related to the RCS integrity of the ROI. The image along the OML can be used for pass/fail decision-making by comparing the image with a “gold standard” image for the same region.
An Improved Version of the Circular Near-Field to Far-Field Transformation (CNFFFT)
For many years now, GDAIS has described the development, characterization, and performance of an image-based circular near field-to-far field transformation (CNFFFT) for predicting far-field radar cross-section (RCS) from near-field measurements collected on a circular path around the target. In this paper, we present an improved version of the algorithm that avoids a stationary phase approximation inherent in earlier versions of the technique. The improvement is realized by modifying the range-domain weighting used to implement the frequency derivative in the existing method. A similar modification was presented in the context of linear near-field measurements in an earlier AMTA paper. Numerical simulations are presented that demonstrate the improvement afforded by the technique in predicting far-field RCS patterns from near-field data collected using typical bandwidths and standoff distances. An additional benefit of the revised algorithm is that it readily admits a formulation that includes antenna pattern compensation, as described in a companion paper.
Antenna Pattern Correction for the Circular Near Field-to-Far Field Transformation (CNFFFT)
In previous work , we presented an antenna pattern compensation technique for linearly-scanned near field measurements. In this paper, we present a similar technique to mitigate the errors from uncompensated azimuthal antenna pattern effects in circular near-field monostatic radar measurements. The antenna pattern co mpensation is implemented as part of an improved algorithm for transforming the near-field measurements to the far-field RCS. A description of this improved circular near field-to-far field transformation CNFFFT technique for isotropic antennas is presented in a companion paper . In this paper, we formulate the near-field signal model in the presence of an azimuthal antenna pattern under the same scattering approximation used in the isotropic CNFFFT. Using this model, we derive a modified version of the CNFFFT that includes antenna pattern compensation. Numerical simulations are presented that demonstrate the ability of the technique to remove antenna pattern errors and improve the accuracy of the far field RCS patterns and sector statistics.
An Original Microwave Near-Field / Far-Field Spherical Setup: Application to Antennas and Scattered Fields Measurements
At the Institut Fresnel in Marseille (France), we created an original experimental setup in order to test antennas and carry out scattering measurements in both monostatic and bistatic configurations. The main advantage of this setup is, of course, the multipurpose feature. Two main mechanical systems are installed in a large anechoic chamber. The first system is a spherical positioning setup which allows measurements of antennas and scattered fields for both bi-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) targets. This setup consists of two carriages moving on a circular vertical arch and a third carriage which follows a circular path on a horizontal plane. A transmitter and a receiver can be fixed on any of these three carriages. A fourth rotating stage in the center of the spherical setup fixes the angular position of the antenna under test or of the scattering target. The second system is a far-field positioner which allows the measurement antenna patterns and RCS. To illustrate our activities with this original setup, we first show measurements of a metamaterial antenna prototype and then some results of scattered fields obtained on 2D and 3D targets used in studies of electromagnetic direct and inverse problems.
Surface Wave Contributions in the RCS of a Squat Cylinder
While using squat cylinders for calibrations, we study the MoM-simulated data in terms of surface waves. We have found that the fine structures in both the amplitude and the phase are related to the target geometry. Key Words: RCS calibration, simulation, polarization
Applications of Interferoceiver for RCS Measurement and RF Imaging
It is widely known to radar engineers that the best radar receiver is a correlation receiver, which correlates the originally transmitted radar pulse with received pulses from the reflection. But the true correlation receiver could not yet be realized in past. The advancement of fiber optical technology changes that. The new and true correlation receiver, which has been referred to as interferoceiver, revolutionizes the technical foundation of radar and electronic warfare. The present talk discusses the use of the interferoceiver in advancing techniques of RCS measurement and RF imaging.
Considerations for RCS Measurements over the Ocean
Techniques for measuring the radar cross section (RCS) of a target in a controlled environment are well known and established and many commercial systems are available for making these measurements. However, when RCS measurements need to be taken in a variable environment – such as over the ocean – several important issues are introduced that need to be carefully considered before a meaningful measurement can be made. This paper shall discuss some of these issues and present a measurement approach that appears to reduce the uncertainty that these factors introduce.
The Blue Airborne Target Signatures (BATS) Database
This paper discusses the Blue Airborne Target Signatures (BATS) database. BATS is the United States Air Force central repository for US and allied signature data. It resides at and is maintained by the Signatures Element, 453rd Electronic Warfare Squadron, Air Force Information Warfare Center, Lackland AFB TX. BATS contains radar cross section (RCS), infrared (IR), and antenna pattern (AP) data, both measured and simulated. The history and background of BATS is also presented, as well as current activities.
Design Issues for a maverick RCS Instrumentation Radar
This paper describes the motivation and major issues related to the design of an RCS radar instrumentation system for use in a compact range. The high degree of sophistication implemented in commercially-available radar systems renders them subject to significant MTTR (mean time to repair) with corresponding losses in range productivity. The objective of the design effort was to develop a system of minimal complexity, maximally suited to troubleshooting and repair by laboratory personnel, while retaining the operational efficiency normally provided by the commercial systems.
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