Radar Cross Section (abbr. RCS) is a measurement quantity for the power of an electromagnetic wave scattered by an object. It can be interpreted as a measure of visibility of an object to a radar system. Besides the characteristics of the radar system itself the RCS of a radar target affects the maximum distance at which the target can be detected unambiguously.
However, the RCS of an object can be maximized or minimized by altering shape and/or surface of objects. This effect can be utilized for fulfilling specific requirements on radar targets, e.g. for designing aircrafts and ships with stealth properties to avoid their detection by conventional radar systems. Also the construction of reflectors with remarkably high RCS becomes possible.
For the purpose of radar cross section measurement and evaluation RCS measurement ranges are used. Typical chamber types are outdoor, farfield and compact ranges. These ranges should meet a variety of specific requirements, such as: