Radar Cross Section Prediction and Reduction

Course #EC4630

Est.imated Completion Time: 3 months


This course covers the design and engineering aspects of stealth and its impact on platform and sensor design. Signature prediction methods in the radar, infrared (IR), and laser frequency bands are discussed. Radar cross section (RCS) analysis methods include geometrical optics and diffraction theory, physical optics and the physical theory of diffraction, and numerical solutions to integral and differential equations. Prediction methods for IR and laser cross sections (LCS) are also introduced. Signature reduction by shaping, materials selection, and active and passive cancellation are applied to each frequency regime. The measurement of these cross sections is also covered.

Included in degrees & certificates

  • 293
  • 294
  • 592


  • EC3600

Learning Outcomes

·       The student shall be familiar with the phenomenology of electromagnetic scattering in the frequency domain: plane wave reflection and refraction from interfaces, surface waves, creeping waves, edge diffraction and cavity scattering.

·       The student will be able to describe the characteristics of scattering for the three frequency regimes: 1) Rayleigh region, 2) Mie region, and 3) optical region.

·       The student will be familiar with the basic theorems and concepts of electromagnetics including the Uniqueness Theorem, Reciprocity Theorem, Theorem of Similitude and Equivalence Principles.

·       Given the geometry of a scattering body, the student will calculate the surface current density using the Physical optics (PO) approximation, and determine the body’s RCS from the scattered field obtained by using the current in the radiation integral.

·       Given simple doubly curved objects, the student will be able to compute their RCS using geometrical optics (GO) and the geometrical theory of diffraction (GTD).

·       The student will be familiar with the integral equations commonly used in the formulation of electromagnetic problems, and their solution using the method of moments technique.

·       The student will be familiar with the techniques available to reduce a target’s radar signature: shaping, materials selection, and active and passive cancellation.

·       The student will be aware of how low observable platform sensors such as antennas can influence RCS. The calculation of sensor RCS and the effectiveness of reduction will be investigated by the student.

·       The student will be able to compute the diffuse scattering component of a rough surface and determine the laser cross section of simple targets.

·       The student will be aware of the current state of the art in computational electromagnetics and the capabilities of several widely used RCS software packages. Included in the codes are finite element methods and finite difference techniques in the time domain.

·       A project requiring the calculation of RCS shall be completed. The student will select a particular target and the method of predicting RCS. Using available codes or analysis, the student will generate RCS data. The student’s data must be compared to published data or a secondary calculation method and any differences explained. Methods of RCS reduction will be suggested and demonstrated by the student.

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Application Deadlines

  •  08 Jul 2024

    Fall Quarter applications due

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