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Avionics Engineering Center
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Radar Modeling Capabilities

Ohio University has developed two radar models in the last year for use in analyzing radar systems performance. One of the models, the Radar Coverage Analysis Model (RCAM) is especially useful in the analysis and prediction of radar coverage when new buildings and structures are proposed near the radar antenna. This model is capable of analyzing or predicting effects on air-route coverage, runway coverage, approach/departure coverage, and restricted airspace coverage in the presence of these structures.

Conversely, when given a proposed structure location, the location of the affected radar, and local radar coverage requirements, the Ohio University RCAM model can determine the maximum structure height that will still permit effective radar coverage. It can also determine the impact of a proposed structure on existing radar coverage. The model is easy to use, economical, and offers the capabilities of quick turnaround for site analysis.

The second model, the Radar Reflection Analysis Model (RRAM) was specifically developed for the analysis of false targets and false replies. Given proposed building parameters, this model is capable of predicting both the direction and distance of false replies for the radar beacon, and false targets for the primary radar.

Both models are continually being improved to include more capability; both can be used in the analysis of ASR, ASDE, En-route radar, and ATCRBS. Taken together, the two models constitute a powerful tool for performing site analysis when there are plans for construction or development on or around an airport.

Figure 1 - Radar Coverage
Figure 1: Example Output of Radar Coverage Analysis Model

The output from the coverage model, shown in Figure 1, has the ILS coverage at a local airport superimposed on the radar coverage diagram. This diagram uses different color codes to indicate coverage obtainable at different distances from the radar system. All the parameters used in the modeling are also included in diagram. This diagram depicts in one simple pictorial, the coverage of the airspace or the approach path to a runway in the case of terminal radars, and will also show the coverage of runways and taxiways, in the case of airport surface radars

Figure 2 - Radar Reflect
Figure 2: Example Output of Radar Reflection Analysis Model

Figure 2 is a typical output from the RRAM model. The blue curve shows the distance and direction at which aircraft will give false replies to aircraft interrogations. The red curve shows the direction indicated on the radar display monitor. The same type of diagram can be generated for false targets from the primary radar. This diagram can be used in the analysis of false targets and replies for all the different types of surveillance radars.

A diagram similar to the one above, can also be generated showing available power level. Such a diagram is useful in situations where signal strength is an issue.


Avionics Engineering Center
Russ College of Engineering and Technology
131 McFarland Avionics Building
Ohio University
Athens, OH 45701
Tel: (740) 593-1515

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