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    Re: Fatal interaction between yacht and ferry.
    From: Gary LaPook
    Date: 2007 May 11, 00:17 -0700

    Gary adds:
    Something else I forgot to mention. The report on the testing a
    variety of radar reflectors shows how much the RCS varies depending on
    whether it is aimed directly at the radar. For example the graph for
    the Davis reflector showed a maximum RCS of 7 m^2 but then a drop off
    to less than 1 m^2 most of the time and sometimes all the way dowwn
    to .01 m^2 a ratio of 700, or more than 28 db. There is no chance that
    you would be detected if the radar happened to be in one of these low
    points in the pattern, something you have no control over since this
    pattern is random arround the horizon.  This shows the advatage of
    having a reflector that you can aim whch then assures  that the radar
    will be in the high RCS area of the curve. Even having a small
    handheld reflector six inches on an edge would allow you to aim a 20
    m^2  RCS reflection at the other ship.
    On May 10, 4:51 am, glap...@PACBELL.NET wrote:
    > Gary wrote:
    > The report on radar reflectors available 
    > that you mentioned proves my point about the advisability of having a
    > radar reflector of sufficient size to point at the approaching ship.
    > Figure 1 shows the probability of being detected based on the radar
    > cross section of the radar reflector and on real world conditions
    > including surface clutter and multipath reflection. The theoretical
    > detection range predicted by the radar equation assumes perfect
    > conditions and was actually developed in conjunction with development
    > of air defense radars designed to detect incoming Russian bombers and
    > is also used to calculate the effectiveness of radar jammers carried
    > by our planes and the point of "burn through."
    > One of the first things to notice from this graph is that the
    > detection range does not follow the idealized fourth root rule. The
    > graph show the maximum detection of a 1 m^2 RCS target of about 9 nm
    > for the 60% probability case. If the fourth root rule worked in this
    > type of situation then the 10 m^2 RCS target should have been detected
    > at 16 nm at the 60% probability level instead of 10.5 NM as shown on
    > the graph.
    > The main point, however is looking at the probability of detection
    > when within 2 miles. It is obvious that the 10 m^2 RCS target has a
    > much greater chance of being detected than the 1 m^2 target, with
    > peaks up to about 90%. Using the one bucket reflector, 12 inches on a
    > side, that I described, you would be showing a 300 m^2 RCS to the
    > radar so the probability of detection should be about 100% since it is
    > 15db stronger than the 10 m^2 target.
    > .
    > On May 8, 8:52 pm, Paul Hirose  wrote:
    > > George Huxtable wrote:
    > > > In the case of a radar reflector, with wavelengths of a few cm., and the
    > > > dimensions of any mirror being only a few wavelengths, then "diffraction",
    > > > which some of you may recall from schooldays, plays a major part. The result
    > > > is that even the best reflector, unless is dimensions are absolutely
    > > > immense, reflects its energy in a spread-out, diffuse, maner, with a
    > > > beam-width of many degrees.
    > > I'm guessing that the beamwidth (radians) is on the order of 1 over the
    > > width of the reflector expressed in wavelengths. So at X band (3 cm
    > > wavelength), a reflector 30 cm aross will have a beamwidth of roughly
    > > 1/10 radian, or 6 degrees.
    > > > But the benefit, the only benefit, that you will get from the situation of
    > > > reflectors being small(ish) measured in wavelengths, is that because the
    > > > reflection is so diffuse, there's no call, at all, to get any high precision
    > > > in the relative angling of the corner faces. I would go so far as to say
    > > > that if it looks, by eye, to be about 90 degrees between the faces, that's
    > > > good enough.
    > > In optics it is said that an image will not fall seriously short of
    > > perfection if the peak to valley errors on the wavefront do not exceed
    > > 1/4 wave. Perhaps that applies to the geometry of corner cube reflectors
    > > as well. That is, if all the surfaces coincide with a perfect corner
    > > cube within some fraction of a wavelength, then the final reflection
    > > will be "diffraction limited".
    > > A companion report comparing the performance of several radar reflectors
    > >   is now available at the MAIB:
    > >http://www.maib.gov.uk/publications/investigation_reports/2007/ouzo.cfm
    > > --
    > > I block messages that contain attachments or HTML.
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