For yrs, it has been difficult to somehow effectively convey -- in a visual format -- of how difficult it is to detect a DELIBERATELY designed body for low radar observability, aka 'stealth'. Most of the public have never seen a radar system in operation, let alone a radar under military direction. Most commentaries and public articles about radar in general and 'stealth' in particular often mention 'noise' as how a 'stealth' fighter would exploit to remain hidden. But how to sufficiently represent that difficulty?
It is true that background electromagnetic (EM) noise is important for 'stealth'. The body is shaped in such a way that it reflects/deflects MOST radar signals away from the seeking radar. That is most, not all. Whatever small amount of reflected/deflected EM signals that made the return journey to the seeking radar is usually dismissed by the radar computer as 'noise'. In essence, the 'stealth' fighter is actually 'seen' by the seeking radar, but that it is categorized as 'noise'. But how to sufficiently represent that process without involving a lot of math and time explaining to the interested laymen?
Most explanation of 'noise' uses something like this...
There is nothing wrong with that. But many people still have difficulty imagining the 'stealth' fighter inside all those lines. We learn the quickest, if not the most in-depth, via visualization. That is why we use symbols, from flags to drawings, to TRY to convey messages in as little effort as possible. Every American know the 50 stars on the flag represents the 50 states. Every JPNese know the solid red circle on their flag represents the sun. And so on...
So after all this time, I managed to find an image that I believe is the best representation of 'stealth', including how 'stealth' is hidden among background EM noise...
Background EM noise is neither uniform nor level. In the image above, a man body painted himself to look like rocks. His face is pointed out. His eyes, nostrils, and mouth are barely discernible, if not assisted by the pointer. Given enough time, the viewer can mentally outline his arms and legs, but by the time he can do so, a missile or a bomb is well on the way. All those visual tests on how to find a camouflaged sniper in a field of grass or on a mountainside do not really represent the true electrical nature of EM background noise -- intensely messy like the image above.
Every REAL rock is the equivalent of an unknown EM background signal that the radar computer classified as 'noise'. Together, all the rocks would overwhelm the radar computer, or in this case, the human brain, in trying to discern a pattern. Note that you can actually see the man, you as the seeking radar, but your brain have difficulty trying to find a pattern in all those disorganized rocks. Different persons will have different time spent in trying to outline the man's body. No different than how different radar designs would have difficulty finding the 'stealth' fighter signals from background 'noise'. Those who mock 'stealth' in saying 'overrated', or even does not work, are ignorant and do not know what they are talking about, not even of basic radar principles.
Low radar observability does work and is a very real threat.
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