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Recent research has examined several novel radio frequency (RF) remote probing techniques. These new results are joined with the prior art leading to a unified understanding of RF remote probing that articulates the fundamental principles involved and allows extension to the analysis of additional “new” RF probing techniques. Two significant aspects in RF probing are emphasized: 1) information, coding, and signal theory considerations are identified as these establish bounds on probe performance against a specific information task and 2) building upon the well-known radar equation, the object cross section is generalized to be an interaction term describing a much broader range of interactions than simply reflection. These results are significant in enabling the rapid analysis and evaluation of “new” RF sensing techniques proposed to accomplish a variety of functions in the detection and identification of both natural and manmade objects.