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EFFECTS OF INFLATED CONE ON SATELLITE'S RADAR CROSS SECTIONS IN S-BAND VIA FDTD SIMULATIONS

By S. S. M. Chung

Full Article PDF (1,633 KB)

Abstract:
Satellites are the most important link in today's battle field, and with the advancement of anti-satellite technologies like anti-satellite missiles and directed energy weapons, satellites are becoming vulnerable to attack. The vulnerability of satellite depends highly on its probability of being detected and tracked, and optics or radars are the two major means of detection. To avoid detection, several suggestions have been made in the past to deflect ambient light and decrease the RCS (radar cross section) to avoid detection. The most notable RF stealth suggestion among them is the proposal of using an inflatable polymer cone to change its shape and reduce satellite's RCS. In this study we examine the RCS of this so-called stealth satellite in S-band with FDTD simulations, and analyze its frequency and radar incident angle dependence. Results indicate this shape is advantageous in bore sight monostatic backscatter RCS reduction, but in other directions the RCS increases due to sheer size effect, which makes it even more vulnerable to bi-static radar tracking. When it is slant illuminated, the RCS of the stealth satellite shows no RCS reduction effects. Such inflated device is susceptible to space debris damage and cumbersome to operate, and may interfere with the original mission of the satellite. Best strategy for satellite self-defense is orbit change.

Citation:
S. S. M. Chung, "Effects of Inflated Cone on Satellite's Radar Cross Sections in S-Band via FDTD Simulations," Progress In Electromagnetics Research M, Vol. 42, 109-119, 2015.
doi:10.2528/PIERM15033102

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