Stealth technology

Stealth technology, also termed low observable technology (LO technology), is a sub-discipline of military tactics and passive and active electronic countermeasures, which covers a range of methods used to make personnel, aircraft, ships, submarines, missiles, satellites, and ground vehicles less visible (ideally invisible) to radar, infrared,[2] sonar and other detection methods.

It corresponds to military camouflage for these parts of the electromagnetic spectrum (i.e., multi-spectral camouflage).

  • Reduction of signal emissions
  • Radar cross-section (RCS) reductions
  • - Changing the Vehicle shape Use of special Materials (composites)
    - Non-metallic airframe
    - Radar-absorbent material
  • Reducing of Acoustic signals (sound)
  • Reduction of signal emissions
  • Radar cross-section (RCS) reductions
  • Reducing of Acoustic signals (sound)

Changing the Vehicle shape

The most efficient way to reflect radar waves back to the emitting radar is with orthogonal metal plates, forming a corner reflector consisting of either a dihedral (two plates) or a trihedral (three orthogonal plates). This configuration occurs in the tail of a conventional aircraft, where the vertical and horizontal components of the tail are set at right angles. Stealth aircraft such as the F-117 use a different arrangement, tilting the tail surfaces to reduce corner reflections formed between them. A more radical method is to omit the tail, as in the B-2 Spirit. The B-2's clean, low-drag flying wing configuration gives it exceptional range and reduces its radar profile.  The flying wing design most closely resembles a so-called infinite flat plate (as vertical control surfaces dramatically increase RCS), the perfect stealth shape, as it would have no angles to reflect back radar waves.

In the picture we can see the YF-23 S-duct engine air intake wich conceals engine from probing radar waves In addition to altering the tail, stealth design must bury the engines within the wing or fuselage, or in some cases where stealth is applied to an extant aircraft, install baffles in the air intakes, so that the compressor blades are not visible to radar. A stealthy shape must be devoid of complex bumps or protrusions of any kind, meaning that weapons, fuel tanks, and other stores must not be carried externally. Any stealthy vehicle becomes un-stealthy when a door or hatch opens.

Non-metallic airframe

Dielectric composite materials are more transparent to radar, whereas electrically conductive materials such as metals and carbon fibers reflect electromagnetic energy incident on the material's surface. Composites may also contain ferrites to optimize the dielectric and magnetic properties of a material for its application.

Radar-absorbent material

Main article: Radiation-absorbent material

Picture shows the skin of a B-2 bomber. Radiation-absorbent material (RAM), often as paints, are used especially on the edges of metal surfaces. While the material and thickness of RAM coatings can vary, the way they work is the same: absorb radiated energy from a ground- or air-based radar station into the coating and convert it to heat rather than reflect it back. Current technologies include dielectric composites and metal fibers containing ferrite isotopes. Paint comprises depositing pyramid-like colonies on the reflecting superficies with the gaps filled with ferrite-based RAM. The pyramidal structure deflects the incident radar energy in the maze of RAM. One commonly used material is called iron ball paint. It contains microscopic iron spheres that resonate in tune with incoming radio waves and dissipate most of their energy as heat, leaving little to reflect back to detectors. FSS are planar periodic structures that behave like filters to electromagnetic energy. The considered frequency-selective surfaces are composed of conducting patch elements pasted on the ferrite layer. FSS are used for filtration and microwave absorption.

Company CEO Country
Lockheed Martin Jim Taiclet EEUU
Sukhoi Igor Ozar Russia

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