Submillimeter Wave Technology

Radar Signatures and Analysis

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Read more about ERADS (Expert Radar Signature Solutions)

Compact Radar Ranges

For the past twenty-five years STL has been engineering and constructing unique Compact Radar Ranges for production of radar signatures of ships, tanks, and other tactical vehicles. The Compact Radar Range is designed to measure scale models of actual targets using laser-based and solid-state submillimeter-wave beams. By performing radar scattering measurements of high fidelity scale models inside a Compact Radar Range, the radar fingerprint, or signature, of a tactical vehicle can be produced at low cost and very high accuracy. 
A typical Compact Radar Ranges consists of three major components: the anechoic chamber (to absorb stray scatter), the target positioning system (to allow the accurate positioning of the posed target to within 0.001 degrees), and the submillimeter-wave transceiver (which transmits the submillimeter beam and receives the backscattered signature from each target).
STL, as part of the
Expert RADar Signature Solutions (ERADS) consortium of radar signature facilities, currently operates compact ranges designed to match fielded systems at VHF, UHF, X-band, K-band, Ka-band, Ku-band, and W-band radar.

Staff: Michael Coulombe, Thomas Goyette Ph.D., Guy DeMartinis Ph.D., Jason Dickinson

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Radar Signature Acquisition and Analysis Research

Using the Compact Radar Ranges at STL as part of the ERADS radar consortium, radar backscattering signatures are acquired of tactical targets ranging from ships to trucks to main battle tanks. The most popular measurement, the Azimuth swept ISAR produces radar backscatter imagery the closely mimics operational measurements of tactical targets on numerous fielded platforms.
Radar signatures collected at STL are a very cost effective way to create high-quality radar scattering imagery from scale models.
In our twenty five years of experience, our staff has acquired considerable experience in laboratory integration of state-of-the-art data acquisition, motion control, and data processing and visualization techniques. 

Staff: Michael Coulombe, Thomas Goyette Ph.D., Guy DeMartinis Ph.D. Jason Dickinson, Robert Giles Ph.D.

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Fine-Scale Model Fabrication

STL operates a world class target modeling facility, where tactical target photos and CAD models are fabricated into astonishingly high fidelity scale models. Unrelenting attention to detail allows production of scale models with scaled welds, bolt heads, track links, lug nuts, rust, battle damage, and non-metallics like rubber pads, fiberglass and canvas.

Staff: Talal Chouman, Adam Lomazoff

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Dielectrics Characterization for Radar Scaling

In order to properly scale tactical targets that contain non-metallic components, the STL Materials Laboratory has developed techniques to measure the complex dielectric constant of materials at true radar frequencies as well as THz frequencies. With knowledge of a material's radar frequency dielectric constant, a new material can be fabricated that possesses the same dielectric constant at THz frequencies using STL's extensive library of dielectric tailoring material recipes. STL's Fine-Scale Model Fabrication shop is then able to create perfectly dielectrically scaled model components using these recipes.

Staff: Andrew Gatesman Ph.D.

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Low-Observable Studies

Due to the extremely high sensitivity of the transceiver systems at STL, we have the ability to perform radar backscatter studies of low-observable and Stealthy targets. Prototype vehicles or systems can be modeled and measured, then modified and remeasured, as part of a radar cross section reducing process, iterating in on a final low-observable design.

Staff: Michael Coulombe, Thomas Goyette Ph.D.

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Realistic Ground Terrain and Clutter

Ground Planes

It is well known that the local terrain in which a ground vehicle is situated has a significant impact on the vehicle's radar cross-section. STL has designed and fabricated more than two dozen ground planes modeling the backscattering behavior of a wide variety of terrain types such as desert, soil, asphalt, concrete, etc. Comparison of the polarimetric backscattering behavior of ground planes modeling both dry and moist soil terrain indicates excellent agreement with field data at X, Ka, and W-band.

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Ground Clutter

STL is actively researching techniques to accurately model complex terrain components such as heterogeneous roughness, rocks, trees, vegetation, roots, grass, etc. Fabrication techniques to model density and moisture variations, which can lead to volumetric scattering, are being addressed. Techniques for fabrication of man-made clutter such as roadways and small buildings have been developed. In addition, clutter objects associated with true "operational conditions" such as troop packs, ammo storage crates, fuel containers, damaged vehicles, and protective berms can be designed and incorporated into scale model ground planes.

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