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The knowledge of the radar cross section (RCS) of aircraft and other objects is of great interest both for civil and military applications. Scaled setups are often used in order to facilitate RCS measurements in a well-defined laboratory environment. As radar frequencies steadily increase, for high scaling factors these measurements have to be carried out in the THz regime. In this paper, we propose an experimental setup consisting of a fiber-coupled THz time-domain spectrometer integrated with a two circle goniometer, which enables bistatic scaled RCS measurements. To assess the accuracy of the setup, measurements on reference objects as well as on scale model aircraft are performed. The measured data of the reference objects is compared to the theoretical predictions. As for the aircraft, the comparison between a Panavia 200 Tornado and a Lockheed F117 Nighthawk is made and the influence of individual components like bombs on the overall RCS is evaluated.
Terahertz Science and Technology, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:2 , Issue: 4 )
Date of Publication: July 2012