Radar Cross Section (RCS) Measurement Facility,
Raytheon, El Segundo, California

Raytheon RCS range in Chamber 1: dual reflector compact range, retractable access platforms and overhead crane, and low-RCS pylon in an anechoic chamber.
All images courtesy Hughes Aircraft

In the late 1980s, Hughes Aircraft developed a world-class RCS and antenna measurement facility with two compact ranges, a large tapered chamber, and spherical nearfield scanners. The Howland Company designed the compact ranges around March Microwave Dual Reflector Compact Ranges. Since the Raytheon-Hughes Aircraft merger in 1997, Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems has continued to operate the facility.

 

The Howland Company established the chamber size and the performance criteria for both ranges. We were responsible for the electromagnetic design and the design of the shield envelope. We developed the target handling and access equipment and procedures. We assisted Hughes in the evaluation of construction contractors' proposals and reviewed the contractor's plans and specifications for compliance with the shielding and anechoic requirements.

     
Aircraft model on low-RCS pylon in Chamber 1, Hughes Aircraft Electromagnetic Test Facility   Chamber 2, the larger RCS compact range--12x12x24 ft quiet zone.
Scale model test target and rotator on the
low-RCS pylon in Chamber 1.
  A range technician using the telescoping lift to
inspect the reflectors in Chamber 2.
     

Chamber 1 has a 6 x 6 x 12 ft quiet zone. The chamber has a 20 x 20 ft pneumatically controlled access door through which a walkway and telescoping jib crane are extended into the chamber. Targets or test antennas are mounted on a foam column or low-RCS pylon. The dual parabolic cylinder reflector system produces a plane wave that is used to illuminate the target.

The larger of the two ranges, Chamber 2, has a similar arrangement but a much larger (12 x 12 x 24 feet) quiet zone.

 

The facility continues to serve Raytheon and their customers as a state-of-the-art antenna and RCS test and measurement complex. Chamber 1 is certified as compliant with ANSI-Z-540/ISO-25 standards and is part of the National RCS Measurement Facility Standards Program. Certification of chamber 2 is underway.

Click here to visit the Raytheon Antenna Test Facility (ATF) website.

     
Hughes Aircraft (now Raytheon) Antenna Test Facility, Chamber 1   Hughes Aircraft (now Raytheon) Antenna Test Facility, Chamber 2
     
Diagrams of Chamber 1 (left) and Chamber 2 (right).