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Thread: How to catch a stealth airplane

  1. #1 How to catch a stealth airplane 
    Forum Isotope (In)Sanity's Avatar
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    I was trying to think of ways a stealth airplane (one that can't be scene by radar) could be detected.

    The current stealth technologies do reflect some radar signature, however it bounces back at angles that are never directly back at the source of the radar, thus they never get a return. Now what would happen if you used ground based radar combined with satellite technology to do the opposite, paint a picture of what doesn't make it as opposed to what does make it.

    Ground based radar would send a wide beam signal upwards and outwards toward a low orbit satellite parked in such a way that it could see a large view of this signal. It would be almost an optical effect looking down at the earth, but instead of looking for light it would be looking for a certain radio wave. Objects that blocked or reflected this signal (even at odd angles) would be visible as almost a negative image. So instead of trying to get a return signal it would find the holes. Objects that move in a direction at a high rate of speed could be considered planes.

    I suppose you could also have the satellite do a downward radar signal that would bounce off the earth and then look for a lack of return. I'm not sure how clouds and such would factor in, as well as satellite power.

    Just some thoughts.


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  3. #2  
    Forum Ph.D.
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    I'm not sure. The satellite, I believe, would only pick up one small part of the waves transmitted by the RADAR post.

    I believe there would be a very low statistical chance that the Satellite would pick up the reflected waves of the aircraft.



    Waves are Radio waves, Big dark grey blob Satellite, light grey blob the airplane. I strongly doubt that your hypothesis is possible...

    Still, if you do want to catch an airplane, scan the sky with IR-satellites. The airplanes still use jet-engines, and thus radiate quite a lot of heat. This form of energy can be seen on Infra-red, even if we can't in our own spectrum.

    Heck, we might even take them down with heat-seeking missiles. Bye, bye, F-16!

    Mr U


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  4. #3  
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    Newer stealth planes have started using cold exhausts. I am not sure of the exact process, but I know it very effectively reduces IR transmission.
    Another reason, if I am correct, that your satelite theory would not work is due to liine of sight and diffraction of ways. Take the following schematics:
    Code:
                                 >-o-<  <--satelite
                              /////|\\\\\   <- waves
                             //////O\\\\\\    O is the plane
                            /////    \\\\\\
                           /////      \\\\\\
    as you can see as the waves hit the plane, they create a large pocket of emptiness below them that is amplified the lower it goes. The aerial (most likely a dish) used to receive these waves would have to be large enough to cover this entire spectrum of dead area and pick up some of the uninterupted waves as well. The dish size needed would be slightly larger than the plane (plane's get pretty big).

    The other problem with using satelite is shown in this schematic:
    Code:
          >-o-<                >-o-<                >-o-<
      //////|\\\\\         //////|\\\\\         //////|\\\\\
                \O\             |O|            /O/
                 \ \            | |           / /
                  \ \           | |          / /
    As the plane crosses the satellitte (assuming there is a station capable of picking up these waves), the plane is shown in three different locations as viewed from the ground. This is a problem that would occur if we used radio wave "shadowing".

    Just my 2 cents
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  5. #4  
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    You might be right on the ground to space idea, my second idea was to bombard radar from space downwards and look for holes in the reflected signal, I figure the stealth plane would leave a radar hole as it's designed to not reflect back radio waves in a straight line. So instead of looking for objects that reflect you would be looking for the opposite, objects that didn't reflect. This would be very hard to do from a ground based radar. A radar based in space could look down on the target using the earth as a backdrop and point of reference. The nice side effect is such a system could in theory tackle both reflected targets and non reflected at the same time.

    Perhaps even use some form of high speed sweeping IR laser to illuminate the target area, again looking for holes.
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  6. #5  
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    So they finally engineered some cold thrusters, huh? Put that against the hot clouds, and I doubt you will be able to see them on IR. Smart fellas, US Airforce. Personally, the only thing I can imagine on how to detect them is letting airplanes patrol the air.

    That, or nuking the opponents air bases .

    Mr U
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  7. #6  
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    throw up a big net!!!

    i suppose thats what radar is.. and if stealth can go undected ...
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  8. #7  
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    They could use a form of Doppler Radar for it can "see" raindrops.
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  9. #8  
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    While I realize that both the angle of the surface configuration of the aircraft and the high tech paint both go hand in hand, it would seem to me that the lower undercarriage of the craft does not have as many angles as either to the front or to the rear of the craft does. Would it not be possible to get a bounce during a high noon shot with a radar? Of course I would imagine the length of time to paint the craft would not allow much warning and that the positive return would not be long in duration without the craft being at a high altitude.

    Certainly while it has a radar absorbing coat, I am sure it does not have a simular light cloaking paint job. Ideas anyone?
    "Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo."
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  10. #9  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    Most are painted black and only fly at night .
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  11. #10 Re: How to catch a stealth airplane 
    Forum Sophomore Phlogistician's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by (In)Sanity
    I was trying to think of ways a stealth airplane (one that can't be scene by radar) could be detected..
    Use a mobile phone network, .... allegedly this method was used in Kosovo to shoot down a stealth aircraft;

    http://www.millennium-debate.org/tel11jun013.htm
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  12. #11  
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    Call them and ask them to show themselves.

    it would really be to hard to detect them, after all they were built in secret and subjected to every test for detection they could think of.
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  13. #12  
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    Phlogistician was essentially correct. Cell phone TOWERS can be used
    to get around the stealth technology of redirecting radar returns. A convential radar has the transmitter and receiver in one location, and
    the locations are sparse. Radar uses nothing but reflected radio waves
    to detect aircraft. By using MANY transmitted radio waves (from the cell
    towers) and receivers in more locations, it is much easier to pick up the
    signals that ARE reflected from stealth craft. It takes sophisticated software to determine an exact location for the craft, the stealth craft
    can still usually evade infrared and radar guided missles, and the cell
    towers are subject to jamming by stealth defense forces, however.
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  14. #13 Does US knows a way to detect stealth plans? 
    Forum Freshman theorein's Avatar
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    What if some rogue nations can build their own stealth technology? Do the US have a method to track them?

    And if there is a special paint or material that can reflect or absorb radar as claimed by the Americans, why aren't they covering all the other fighter planes with this stuff?
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  15. #14  
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    if you had a radar unit see what wasnt there, the satielite would see a large pocket instead of a perfect plane.

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  16. #15  
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    A Serbian named Zoltan shot down a F117 stealth fighter/bomber in 1999.

    Here's how he did it: http://www.strategypage.com/dls/arti...5124224417.asp

    How to Take Down an F-117
    by James Dunnigan
    December 4, 2005
    Discussion Board on this DLS topic


    The Serbian battery commander, whose missiles downed an American F-16, and, most impressively, an F-117, in 1999, has retired, as a colonel, and revealed many of the techniques he used to achieve all this. Colonel Dani Zoltan, in 1999, commanded the 3rd battery of the 250th Missile Brigade. He had search and control radars, as well as a TV tracking unit. The battery had four quad launchers for the 21 foot long, 880 pound SA-3 missiles. The SA-3 entered service in 1961 and, while it had undergone some upgrades, was considered a minor threat to NATO aircraft. Zoltan was an example of how an imaginative and energetic leader can make a big difference. While Zoltan’s peers and superiors were pretty demoralized with the electronic countermeasures NATO (especially American) aircraft used to support their bombing missions, he believed he could still turn his ancient missiles into lethal weapons. The list of measures he took, and the results he got, should be warning to any who believe that superior technology alone will provide a decisive edge in combat. People still make a big difference. In addition to shooting down two aircraft, Zoltan’s battery caused dozens of others to abort their bombing missions to escape his unexpectedly accurate missiles. This is how he did it.



    Zoltan had about 200 troops under his command. He got to know them well, trained hard and made sure everyone could do what was expected of them. This level of quality leadership was essential, for Zoltan's achievements were a group effort.
    Zoltan used a lot of effective techniques that American air defense experts expected, but did not expect to encounter because of poor leadership by the enemy. For example, Zoltan knew that his major foe was HARM (anti-radar) missiles and electronic detection systems used by the Americans, as well as smart bombs from aircraft who had spotted him. To get around this, he used landlines for all his communications (no cell phones or radio). This was more of a hassle, often requiring him to use messengers on foot or in cars. But it meant the American intel people overhead were never sure where he was.
    His radars and missile launchers were moved frequently, meaning that some of his people were always busy looking for new sites to set up in, or setting up or taking down the equipment. His battery traveled over 100,000 kilometers during the 78 day NATO bombing campaign, just to avoid getting hit. They did, and his troops knew all that effort was worth the effort.
    The Serbs had spies outside the Italian airbase most of the bombers operated from. When the bombers took off, the information on what aircraft they, and how many, quickly made it to Zoltan and the other battery commanders.
    Zoltan studied all the information he could get on American stealth technology, and the F-117. There was a lot of unclassified data, and speculation, out there. He developed some ideas on how to beat stealth, based on the fact that the technology didn’t make the F-117 invisible to radar, just very to get, and keep, a good idea of exactly where the aircraft was. Zoltan figured out how to tweak his radars to get a better lock on stealth type targets. This has not been discussed openly.
    The Serbs also set up a system of human observers, who would report on sightings of bombers entering Serbia, and track their progress.
    The spies and observers enabled Zoltan to keep his radars on for a minimal amount of time. This made it difficult for the American SEAD (Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses) to use their HARM missiles (that homed in on radar transmissions.) Zoltan never lost a radar to a HARM missile.
    Zoltan used the human spotters and brief use of radar, with short range shots at American bombers. The SA-3 was guided from the ground, so you had to use surprise to get an accurate shot in before the target used jamming and evasive maneuvers to make the missile miss. The F-117 he shot down was only 13 kilometers away.

    Zoltan got some help from his enemies. The NATO commanders often sent their bombers in along the same routes, and didn’t make a big effort to find out if hotshots like Zoltan were down there, and do something about it. Never underestimate your enemy.
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  17. #16  
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    Well after some extensive research for you i've found some intresting facts.

    * The normally hot exhaust is cooled by ambient air before leaving the aircraft and partially shielded from below; as a result the infrared signature of stealth aircraft is minimized.

    * Stealth aircraft are typically painted in dark colors and frequently fly at night to make visual identification more difficult.

    * Stealth aircraft such as the F-117 and B-2 bomber are not supersonic, they have no afterburners, and the exhaust nozzles are tuned for low noise rather than peak performance, making them difficult to detect via sound waves.

    Passive (multistatic) radars are known to detect stealth aircraft better than receivers connected to the transmitters (active or monostatic radars), since stealth technology reflects energy away from the transmitter's line of sight, effectively increasing the radar cross section (RCS) in other directions, which the passive radars monitor. In addition, it has been suggested that use of low frequency broadcast TV and FM radio signals as the illuminating source produces a much higher RCS than high frequency monostatic radars as the long wavelengths cause whole structural portions of the targets to resonate. Target detection, even at very low Signal to Noise Ratios (down to –100 dB) is theoretically possible. Target tracking, in three-dimensional position and velocity should be more accurate with a multistatic system than with a monostatic system, using either triangulation or hyperbolic (or both) target location strategies. Wide usage of such broadcast signals (esp. in inhabited regions) means a continuous and reliable coverage and source of energy, that cannot easily be neutralized by an attacker. Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with support of DARPA, have shown that it is possible to build a synthetic aperture radar image of an aircraft target using passive multistatic radar, possibly detailed enough to enable Automatic Target Recognition

    Stealth aircraft can also be passively detected from their electromagnetic emissions (terrain-following radar, radio communications, missile guidance communications etc.). Stealth aircraft typically attempt to minimize these emissions (using low probability of intercept radars, satellite communications etc.).
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  18. #17  
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    WOW! a subject, an article I can personally verify! at the end of the serbian conflict pictures of two HARM missiles were acquired by nato showing these in a military museum. I have seen these pictures which were available on NATO (personnell) sites. the missiles in the museum are undamaged. I have omitted a significant feature of these missiles as I am not sure if it they are still classified.

    erm, pardon me for asking, why do you want to shoot down a stealth aircraft?
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  19. #18 To catch a stealth............ 
    Forum Professor leohopkins's Avatar
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    What id do to catch a sleath is to build a hyperly sensetive omnidirectional microphone and point it to the sky at various angles; attatched to a computer which decodes data and allows for doppler shifts; id listen for the sound. If I couldnt catch that stealth by radar or heat signitures; id catch it by sound !!
    The hand of time rested on the half-hour mark, and all along that old front line of the English there came a whistling and a crying. The men of the first wave climbed up the parapets, in tumult, darkness, and the presence of death, and having done with all pleasant things, advanced across No Man's Land to begin the Battle of the Somme. - Poet John Masefield.

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  20. #19  
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    NAh that won't work - you actually need 3 mics and some very sophisticated electronics, in order to 'phase the sound' and give a 2-d direction, that is elevation and bearing. That however will not give you range unless you then have two more sets of 3 forming a large triangle over several square miles. It's called GSR 'Gun Sound Ranging' and is used to locate enemy gun (and more recently mortar positions.

    As for planes it was tried but atmospherics and background noise [wind etc] prevent it from being useful, also remember most modern warplanes can launch missiles and bombs from many miles away -well outside the distance noise from the engines travel.

    Well thought though!

    Here's a link:-

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound_ranging

    Incidentally the same technology is used to detect water leaks underground.
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  21. #20 Thanks :) 
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    Thanks

    and p.s I'll throw away my dowsing rods then ? :wink:
    The hand of time rested on the half-hour mark, and all along that old front line of the English there came a whistling and a crying. The men of the first wave climbed up the parapets, in tumult, darkness, and the presence of death, and having done with all pleasant things, advanced across No Man's Land to begin the Battle of the Somme. - Poet John Masefield.

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