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RogerSmith

Analogies

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A radar is like a flashlight in the dark, you can see everything but everyone can see you. An ECM is like a smokescreen, they know where you are but can't see you. Do my analogies seem accurate?

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Close.

 

Radar is like a flashlight...but they can only see you if your 'beam' hits them. Unlike a real flashlight which can be seen without the person seeing it being lit up by the person holding the flashlight, a radar beam will only be seen if it strikes a sensor directly. There are some exceptions having to do with sidelobe bleeding of radar beams, but that is the general principle.

 

Noise jamming is close to the smokescreen effect you describe. Can highlight your general position to others. Closer in, can mask your exact position. Closer yet, and they can see you again. Missiles that have Home On Jam capability can actually use this jamming as a beacon to home in on.

 

Deception jamming is significantly different. Basically, you can analyze the radar (or other signals) and transmit a return signal that is different from your actual position, velocity, or both. A recent test in Austin showed the capability of using deception jamming GPS signals to lure a drone in a different direction than intended. There is suspicion that Iran may have done something similar when they captured that stealth drone.

 

FC

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And of course deception jamming isn't modeled by sims. Instead, the WWII/Vietnam-era brute force noise jamming method is used which is only accurate for older planes.

 

Planes that have been in service since the 70s even use deception jamming. I'm tired of sim makers insisting on making some parts of their sim "realistic" as far as missile performance or plane performance and then just leaving out things like IFF or deception jamming because "it's classified." Sure, the actual methods are, but you can make educated guesses and implement them just fine. Leaving it totally out is UNrealistic as only damaged/malfunctioning planes would be missing these things.

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A slight addition - a passive detection set can detect, and sometimes track, an active radar 1 1/2 times further than the radar can detect and track.

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I think there are also no radars that can track at their max detection range, either. You can get a glimpse, but you need better signal strength to track.

 

Anyway, I should think your rule should be 2x further. After all, for my radar to see a target 100 miles out, the radar waves travel 200 miles, out and back, at sufficient strength (1/4 broadcast power) for me to resolve it. Ergo someone 200 miles away would see my radar waves just as strongly. Should the antenna on their end be larger than mine, they should see me even farther than 2x away as the dish can collect fainter energy. Maybe they'll be able to see it at less than the 1/4 broadcast power my dish needs to see.

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In short words: radar is like a lighthouse.

 

ECM is like a scatter-lens that won't allow a focal "lock".

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In short words: radar is like a lighthouse.

 

ECM is like a scatter-lens that won't allow a focal "lock".

 

and ECM is itself, an emitter.

 

I always liked the following analogy.

 

Put two football teams on the field with the stadium lights out. Each player gets a rifle and a flashlight. Who turns on their flashlight first.......?

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Only works if you're pointing it at their eyes, though! Which predisposes having a good idea of their location already...

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