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VIRAF: Virtual Aircraft Framework for RCS/IR analysis and mitigation

VIRAF is specifically designed to provide an integrated environment for signature management of aeronautical platforms, both at the component and system levels. It is a modular framework which can offer both RCS and IR signature prediction and management allowing aircraft manufacturers to start optimizing an aircraft’s design at the earliest stages.

VIRAF includes a suite of advanced modeling and prediction tools which have been extensively validated through IDS’s 25 years of experience providing radar and infrared signature simulation and measurement services. Feedback from IDS’s engineers is also used to continuously update and improve VIRAF’s tools and working procedures with the aim of reducing the time and cost for an optimized aeronautical design solution.

VIRAF provides a full framework for the management of complex designs, thanks to the project/version data organization, streamlined workflows, input, output, settings, results history tracking, allowing multiple users to work on the same project. It includes tools to interface with most common commercial CAD software as well as an advanced meshing tool to generate numerical models to be used by the signature prediction codes.

VIRAF is a modular framework which includes:

  • VIRAF-RCS for the prediction of the RCS
  • VIRAF-IR for the prediction of the IR signature

The VIRAF framework is based on a client-server software architecture: the client side where pre- and post-processing functions are performed and the server side where electromagnetic analyses run. This architecture allows several configurations to meet the user needs:

  • Single Client / Single Server (the simplest VIRAF installation, to manage small/medium size targets)
  • Single Client / Multiple Servers (single user and large computational resources, to manage large size targets)
  • Multiple Clients / Single Server (multiple users, to manage small/medium size targets)
  • Multiple Clients / Multiple Servers (multiple users and large computational resources, to manage large size targets)



  • RCS analysis of complex platforms, including aircraft, helicopter, missile, UCAV, UAV, drone
  • Antennas and Arrays RCS analysis
  • Frequency Selective Surface (FSS) design and analysis
  • Operational performance (Detection Range, Detection Probability, Range Advance Factor, Self Screening Range) and Scenario Simulation
  • Jet Engine Modulation (JEM) analysis
  • Diagnostics capability, by means of radar imaging, hot spot calculation, 2D fast loop analyses


  • IR analysis of complex platforms, including aircraft, helicopter, missile, UCAV, UAV, drone
  • Engine exhaust plume effect
  • Interface with CFD software for an accurate thermal solution analysis (surface temperature distribution and engine exhaust plume temperature and gas composition)
  • Environment effect
  • Polar and spectral radiant intensity analysis
  • IR imaging
  • Radiosity analysis
  • Operational performance (Lock On Range)


  • Specific features for aeronautical applications
  • Intuitive workflow, simply follow the front end tool bar from left to right
  • Oracle database data storing and history tracking
  • A comprehensive CAD environment with user friendly healing and cleaning capabilities and advanced meshing functions
  • RCS full-wave methods for very accurate results and detailed analyses. These include Method of Moments (MoM), Multi-Level Fast Multipole Method (MLFMM), Synthetic Functions eXpansion (SFX), Finite Difference Time Domain (FDTD)
  • RCS asymptotic methods for fast loop analyses. These methods include Physical Optics (PO), Physical Theory of Diffraction (PTD), Incremental Theory of Diffraction (ITD) and Shooting and Bouncing Rays (SBR)
  • Monostatic and Bistatic RCS
  • Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) / Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar (ISAR) images
  • Hourglass plot
  • Conventional (conductors, dielectrics) and non-conventional (frequency depending, plasma, multilayer, …) RCS materials
  • Multipath and atmospheric propagation factor for RCS analysis
  • Environment modeling, in terms of atmosphere model, background type (sky, ground, sea), sun effect, for IR analysis
  • Sensor effect on IR imaging and Lock On Range analysis
  • IR materials emissivity, including BRDF
  • Automatic computational management and workload balancing to optimize resource usage and to reduce computational time