An advanced tool for indoor and outdoor RCS measurement

RCSMS is a cost effective and flexible EM measurement system, which provides accurate radar cross section (RCS) assessments of naval or aeronautical targets. This can include ship components or scale models as well as aircraft components, scaled or full scale aircraft models, missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Measurements can be performed indoors in anechoic, partial anechoic, or non-anechoic environments, or outdoors in suitable test areas free of large obstacles.

RCSMS for RCS Measurement

RCSMS is a near field measurement system that uses a 1D, or 2D scanner to position the radar head to acquire 2D/3D synthetic aperture radar (SAR), or inverse synthetic aperture radar (ISAR), diagnostic radar images of the target. These are then converted to undistorted far-field like radar images. The measurement procedure has been extensively validated and provides sensitivity and accuracy comparable to traditional compact and far-field ranges.

Main Applications

RCS Measurement
provides accurate radar cross section (RCS) assessments of naval or aeronautical targets
Target Dimensions
from a few cm up to tens of meters
Indoor and Outdoor Measurements
Measurements in non-anechoic environments
RCSMS Main Applications

Naval vessels, military aircraft, UAVs and even missiles all have a need to avoid detection to increase their survivability and mission success. One way to do this is to reduce their visibility to radar by ensuring that their radar cross section (RCS) is as small as possible.

By fully evaluating a naval or aerial platform’s RCS characteristics during the design cycle or when planning an upgrade, with the sensitivity compliant with stealth platform requirements, modifications can be made to reduce the radar cross section and therefore increase survivability.

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RCSMS Main Benefits

Measurement of full scale targets, which is extremely important whenever the target includes RAM, RAS or RAP components, whose upscaling/downscaling could be difficult or unfeasible

Dramatic reduction of test range costs, with respect to standard compact and far-field range

Large flexibility in terms of acquisition modes and different scan types (2D/3D SAR and ISAR, HRRP)

Reduced logistic impact, with the possibility to easily transport the system from indoors to outdoors and vice versa

Security of measurement operations in the indoor configuration

Total synergy and compatibility with IDS RCS prediction tools. Together they are effective aids in the design cycle of aeronautical and naval platforms


  • Target dimensions from a few cm up to tens of meters
  • Measurement sensitivity compliant with stealth platform requirements
  • Measurements are performed in near-field conditions (dependent on target size and required sensitivity). The resultant near-field measurements are converted to far-field using spherical wave compensation
  • Measurements in non-anechoic environments, indoor, or outdoor
  • Control of environmental clutter, multipath and target support contributions
  • Operational Frequency Band: 0.4-40 GHz
  • Diagnostic analysis of the main scattering centers (hot spots) of a target
  • Background vector subtraction spatial filtering in the radar image

As RCSMS is configurable in regards to frequency range and planar scanner dimensions, the following specifications are given as an example:

Measurement System Capabilities
Tecnical Specs
Frequency Range 1 – 40 GHz coherent
TX/RX Polarization HH, VV, HV, VH (one at a time)
Measurement Range From a few meters up to hundreds of meters
Resolution (Range and Cross-Range) Down to 5 cm depending on frequency band and scan length
RF Performance
Tecnical Specs
Waveform (VNA) Stepped LFMCW with PRF agility
System Noise Figure
NERCS (Noise Equivalent RCS, or minimum detectable RCS at the target distance) < -50 dBsm @ 35m in the Ku and Ka frequency bands
< -60 dBsm @ 35m in L, S, C and X frequency bands
Transmit Power up to 40 dBm
Minimum measurable RCS with 20 dB Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR) -35 dBsm @ 35m, with about ±1 dB accuracy with respect to receiver noise interference signal
Pulse Operation
Tecnical Specs
Pulse Repetition Frequency (PRF) Up to 50 MHz
Range Gate Pulse Width 5 ns – 80 μs at 5ns steps
  • RF and Antennas – consisting of a Vector Network Analyzer (VNA) to generate and acquire RF signals and a specialized radar head including sets of antennas for different bandwidths
  • Antenna positioner – a 2D wide planar scanner to position the TX/RX in a planar surface in horizontal and vertical directions
  • Target positioner – a low RCS support and rotational positioner
  • Acquisition control software – for hardware control, real time configuration and data storage
  • Post-processing software – for image generation and RCS estimation
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