Passive Stealth Technology
Explanation of how stealth (Low Observability) is achieved by aerodynamic shaping, RAM coating.Most conventional aircraft have a rounded shape. This shape makes them aerodynamic, but it also creates a very efficient radar reflector. The round shape means that no matter where the radar signal hits the plane, some of the signal gets reflected back:
A stealth aircraft, on the other hand, is made up of completely flat surfaces and very sharp edges. When a radar signal hits a stealth plane, the signal reflects away at an angle, like this:
In addition, surfaces on a stealth aircraft can be treated so they absorb radar energy as well, with the use of RAM (Radar Absorbent Material). The overall result is that a stealth aircraft like an F-117A can have the radar signature of a small bird rather than an airplane. The only exception is when the plane banks -- there will often be a moment when one of the panels of the plane will perfectly reflect a burst of radar energy back to the antenna.
Another important factor is the engine turbine blades, which are huge reflectors of microwaves and infra-red signature. In aerodynamic shaping, the engine is hidden is S-bends, which does not directly exposes the turbines. F-22 as well as other stealth or LO incorporate this very important feature.
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