How to interpret radar signature info in CMANO?

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How to interpret radar signature info in CMANO?

Postby DarkFib3r » Mon Nov 23, 2015 7:58 pm

I am trying to understand what the different radar signature information means in CMANO. For example, unit #917: SA-2e Guideline has signature info for Front, Side, and Rear. For radar A-D band (20-2000 MHz), it has values of -2 dBsm, 0.63 sq.m.; 0.6 dBsm, 1.15 sq.m.; and -2 dBsm, 0.63 sq.m. For radar E-M band (2-100GHz), it has the exact same values: -2 dBsm, 0.63 sq.m.; 0.6 dBsm, 1.15 sq.m.; and -2 dBsm, 0.63 sq.m.

A Google search identifies dBsm as the Radar Cross Section of target in decibels. And dBsm = 10 x log10(RCS/1m2) where dBsm: Radar Cross Section of target in decibels and RCS: Radar Cross Section of target in square meters. So, the dBsm values were calculated based on the radar cross section values for the given unit from 3 perspectives: front, side, and rear. In the example above, 10 x log10(0.63) = -2 dBsm for the front and rear, and 10 x log10(1.15) = 0.6 dBsm for the side.

The big questions I have are: How do I interpret the values? And how do I use the values constructively in the game? For example, knowing that the SA-2 has a positive dBsm from the side tells me it is easier to locate on any radar band than from the front or back. But do I have to know anything about the quality of my own radar to determine how good it is at finding things? It seems to me that locating an SA-2, based on its signature values, is just as easy or hard regardless of the radar used, but your chances of locating the unit are best from the side, followed by the back and front.

I chose the SA-2 as an example thinking that these radar signatures reflected the quality of its radars (both Fan Song and Spoon Rest), but I see now that it does not. I will look at the database to see if there are separate entries for the actual radars, but I figured I would post this question to see if any veterans can explain what these signature values truly mean, how they can be interpreted, and how you use them in-game.

I am guessing that I need to do some more research on radar cross section theory to understand this better, but if someone could put that into lay terms, it would be quite helpful! Thanks in advance!

EDIT: Noticed the RCS values were part of the signature info and that the front and back had the same -2 dBsm value.
DarkFib3r
 
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Re: How to interpret radar signature info in CMANO?

Postby DarkFib3r » Mon Nov 23, 2015 9:54 pm

To follow up on my own question, my assumption is that the radar signatures are in terms of dBsm for comparison purposes. As for the effectiveness of radars detecting different units with different RCS, it is probably relative; a unit with a signature of -2 dBsm is going to be twice as hard to detect as a unit with a signature of 1 dBsm (because of the 3 dBsm difference and the logarithmic scale).

I am guessing that the different radars have different qualities that influence their ability to detect targets in different conditions, such as range, weather, ECM, unit quality, etc. But the numbers are not really meant to be "gamed" outside of giving you a rough idea of how detectable your unit is in comparison to other units. Needless to say, a plane flying around with a dBsm of 20 is going to get detected a lot faster than a plane with a dBsm of -20.
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