Integrated environment for radar cross section and infrared signature modeling, simulation and management of aeronautical platforms

VIRAF is an integrated software environment for radar cross section (RCS) and infrared (IR) signature modeling, simulation and management of aeronautical platforms, both at the component and the system levels. It is a modular framework which allows manufacturers to start optimizing an aircraft’s electromagnetic (EM) design at the earliest stages.

Viraf RCS and IR signature

VIRAF includes a suite of advanced EM modeling and simulation tools which have been extensively validated throughout IDS’s 30 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 through project/version data organization, streamlined workflows, input, output, settings and results history tracking and the ability for 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.

Main Application

RCS and IR
modelling & simulation of aeronautical platform
Viraf Main Applications

To successfully complete their missions, modern military aircraft increasingly rely on staying undetected for as long as possible and to detect their targets before they themselves are detected. When detected, it is important that an aircraft presents as small a target as possible to make target identification harder and to increase the effectiveness of countermeasures.

The primary means of avoiding detection is to try and appear invisible by reducing the aircraft’s Radar RCS and Infrared signatures. This can be achieved by considering an aircraft’s RCS and IR signatures during the design process, by adjusting the aircraft’s geometry and by using materials that help to reduce these signatures.

These stealth features help to increase the chances that an aircraft will be able to successfully complete its mission and to increase the survivability of the aircraft and the safety of its crew.

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Viraf Main Benefits

Reduces the time and cost of developing an optimized electromagnetic design

High quality solvers as well as procedures for analysis, computation and design are all supported by verified measurements

More effective designs due to the ease of testing different configuration options

Highly efficient design operations including project versioning and traceability

Quick and easy testing of RCS and IR designs and modifications due to the use of a single integrated environment


  • 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
  • Hourglass plots and Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) / Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar (ISAR) images
  • Conventional (conductors, dielectrics) and non-conventional (frequency depending, plasma, multilayer etc.) RCS material analysis
  • Multipath and atmospheric propagation factors for RCS analysis
  • Environment modeling, in terms of atmosphere model, background type (sky, ground, sea) and 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

VIRAF is a modular framework which includes:

VIRAF-RCS for prediction of radar cross sections

  • RCS analysis of complex platforms, including aircraft, helicopter, missile, UCAV, UAV, drone
  • RCS analysis of antennas and arrays
  • Design and analysis of Frequency Selective Surfaces (FSS)
  • 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

VIRAF-IR for prediction of infrared signatures

  • IR analysis of complex platforms, including aircraft, helicopters, missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)
  • 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)

The VIRAF framework is based on a client-server software architecture: pre- and post-processing functions are performed on the client while computations are run on the server. This architecture allows several configurations (from single client / single server to multiple clients / multiple servers) to meet the user’s needs.

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