by August 10, 2001 0 comments



The days of Big Brother watching you stealthily through spy planes, hitherto undetectable seem to be over. Thanks to technology similar to what is used by cellphone base stations, stealth technology will soon be losing
sleep.

Radars are used to detect the presence and speed of a moving object by airports, space agencies or in military situations to detect enemy activity. Radars send out radio waves which, when encountered by a moving body, are reflected back to the radar antenna.

Signals sent out by a cellphone base station hit the spy plane and are reflected in all directions. These are received by sensing equipment and are used to detect the position of the planeStealth aircraft escape detection by one (or both) of two ways: they’re either painted with radar signal-absorbing material, or are shaped so that these signals are reflected away from the radar. (While normal aircraft have a rounded shape that makes them aerodynamic and is also a good reflector of radar signals, stealth aircraft are more angular and have sharp edges.) However, a new technology called passive radar technology can detect these planes too.

This technology is used by cellphone radar towers to send and receive signals from cellphone transmissions. When any plane passes through, including stealth aircraft, you can see it as a disturbance in this pattern. The downside is that you can’t make out whether the plane is a spy plane or not.

However various companies are working on making it viable for detecting stealth aircraft. For instance, Roke Manor Research
(www.roke.co.uk), UK-based has developed sensor technologies which can work with cellphone base stations to detect stealth aircraft. When the signals sent out by base stations hit the aircraft, they are reflected in all directions. The sensing equipment receives these signals and detects the presence and position of the 
aircraft.

Stealth technology has to look up fast now and find ways to counter this, or many countries defense strategies will be weakened.

Pragya Madan

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