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Compact Range

The compact radar range at the ESL is a state-of-the-art system which can measure the radar scattering characteristics of objects as large as eight feet long or as small as a straight pin, obtaining complex radar signatures versus polarization, frequency, and target look angle for both non-cooperative target recognition studies and RCS control studies.  

Ohio State has contributed three primary innovations to range technology. The first and most important is the rolled edge on the reflector which allows measurement of eight-foot targets as compared to four-foot targets for the same reflector without the rolled edge.

The second innovation represents a collection of efforts to improve the sensitivity while lowering the noise of the chamber. A computer-controlled microwave pulsed transmitter and receiver was developed which has very low power (1/2 watt transmitted) yet is stable enough so that very high sensitivity can be achieved. A new techniqe for time-gating the received signal further improves the sensitivity, and has been shown to be such a successful technique that it is being commercially manufactured today by Scientific Atlanta and Lintek. New radar absorbing materials (RAM) were also developed to more efficiently dissipate unwanted energy before it can reflect off the walls of the chamber.  

The third compact range innovation is a new target support structure which is extremely rigid yet virtually invisible to the radar. Consisting of a tilted tapered-wing shape, its internal target rotation apparatus can accurately locate heavy objects while appearing much less visible to the radar than the thin strings used in the past. The compact range and accompanying data processing capabilities are available for commercial and Department of Defense use. RCS and antenna measurements, relating to current or future research, can be performed for interested parties.