RCS Modeling and Validation of Full Scale Launch Vehicle for its Real Time Dynamic Trajectory
Radar Cross Section (RCS) plays a significant role in detecting and tracking the space-based objects such as launch vehicles, missiles, aircrafts etc. In space applications, Radar systems are used to track and provide real-time trajectory information of the satellite launch vehicles after the lift off from the launch pad for range safety purpose. RCS is a critical key parameter that determines tracking performance of the Radar and it is highly dependent on both Radar operating parameters and the target characteristics. For space-based applications, a good quantity of RCS is required for quick detection by the Radar for continuous tracking. In order to choose the best Radar tracking configuration for real time tracking of the launch vehicle, it is required to model and simulate the launch vehicle’s RCS fluctuations prior to launch in order to predict the real time Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR) for its complete dynamic trajectory. This modeling and simulation methodology will help to choose the optimum Radar configuration for obtaining a good quantity SNR in the real-time launch. This study also provides good guidance to Radar operators for the effective Radar operation during real time space object tracking. This paper demonstrates, the real-time RCS fluctuations of a typical ISRO launch vehicle through simulation for its dynamic trajectory using physical optics based EM software prior to launch. Furthermore, the simulation results are validated with real time monostatic Radar tracking data, which showed good agreement.
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