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RCSMS: RCS Measurement System

RCSMS is an indoor-outdoor system focused on the static measurement of full scale platforms and components such as antennas, wings, payloads, engine inlets, ….

RCSMS can perform measurement of:

  • Radar Cross Section;
  • High Resolution Range Profiles;
  • 2D/3D SAR/ISAR Imaging.


The IDS System is based on SAR and/or ISAR acquisitions with the antennas in the near field of the target and represents a “cost effective” but, at the same time, accurate alternative to compact range systems.

The system allows for the evaluation of far field RCS and presents a measurement sensitivity compliant with stealth platform requirements (typical values of Noise Equivalent RCS can be in the order of -50 dBsm indoor).

Reliable RCS measurements in clutter controlled measurement chambers can be obtained in tens of minutes thanks to hardware high stability and speed. The post processing software has been developed to also perform accurate back-scattering measurements in a cluttered environment, such as in laboratories or a partially anechoic environment.

These features make the system an effective tool in the design cycle of aeronautical platforms or components, both as “proof of concept” of new solutions, as well as to support design and manufacturing activities from the early stages of the project till the final acceptance tests.

Composition - System Breakdown

The RCSMS system is flexible and allows for different configurations, indoor and outdoor, ranging from a deployable and transportable system for the measurement of components and small-medium size targets, to a fixed configuration for the measurement of large size targets. IDS can customize the RCSMS configuration according to customer needs and requirements.

The basic system configuration is based upon the following hardware and software modules:


  • PNA, employed to generate and coherently acquire RF signals
  • Specialized Radar Head including:
    • Digital pulse unit and RF gating (TX and RX hardware range gate to reduce clutter)
    • High power (TX side) and low noise (RX side) amplifiers
    • Sets of antennas for different bandwidth (V and H polarizations)
  • One of the following Radar Head movement systems:
    • 2D wide planar scanner employed to move TX/RX antennas in a planar surface (vertical and horizontal directions) in front of the target
    • Vertical tower employed to move TX/RX antennas along the vertical direction in front of the target
  • Control workstations (HW configuration, radar operator, real time processing and data storage)
  • Target support structure
  • Azimuth over elevation target positioner


  • MACS Measurement Acquisition and Control Software
  • Off-line post-processing software, for near field to far field transformation, accurate radar images generation and RCS estimation.


  • Target dimensions: from a few cm up to tens of meters
  • Frequency range: 0.5 – 40 GHz
  • Polarizations: HH, HV, VH, VV
  • Range/Cross Range resolution: down to 5 cm
  • RCS levels: compliant with stealth platform requirements
  • Data output: Total RCS, High Resolution Range Profile (HRRP), 2D/3D radar Imaging
  • Environment: indoor and outdoor, partially anechoic
  • Background vector subtraction and spatial filtering in the radar image