This paper deals with a new definition of the Radar Cross Section (RCS) suitable for surface wave propagation in the HF band. Indeed, it can be shown that the classical definition of the RCS is dependent on distance for this kind of propagation. Also, in simulation, with the classical definition, the power estimated on the receivers using the radar equation is inaccurate. This is an issue for the performance assessment of High Frequency Surface Wave Radars. Thanks to the analysis of different wave propagation models, the differences between the space wave propagation and surface wave propagation have been highlighted. The required modifications of the RCS can then be performed. The proposed new definition is explained and justified in the paper and has been successfully applied to the computation of the RCS of naval targets. In addition, the implementation of this normalization term into the radar equation, and conversely the gain, is discussed. It can be observed that the received power, determined with the definitions adjusted to the surface wave propagation, is accurate. The different obtained results are illustrated and commented.
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