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KC-Z should be persistent and able to change its waveform signature management

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posted on Mar, 2 2017 @ 06:57 PM
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According to Gen. Carlton Everhart, the KC-Z may not be a stealthy aircraft, but it should be able to loiter and change its waveform signature management, which will change the radar signature. That will allow it to stay away from enemy fighters, and surface to air units. Vendors at AWS have several lifting body designs on display as possible KC-Z aircraft. Before adding improvements being worked on by NASA, a design along those lines will provide 70% efficiency improvements over existing tube designs. After adding the improvements, they could be looking at a 100% improvement.


The US Air Force’s KC-Z tanker may not be stealthy, but should be persistent and able to change its waveform signature management, according to the service’s head of air mobility command.

Gen Carlton Everhart clarified earlier comments he made last September, when he told reporters the USAF was considering whether the next-generation tanker should include standoff, stealth or penetrating capabilities.

During a 2 March interview at the Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Florida, Everhart told reporters the tanker must maintain persistence and survivabililty as it flies close to other USAF aircraft. He clarified that the tanker may not be stealthy, but should fend off enemy aircraft by manipulating radar signatures.

www.flightglobal.com...




posted on Mar, 2 2017 @ 08:02 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Well, General, let's just come right out and talk about that, shall we?



posted on Mar, 2 2017 @ 08:36 PM
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a reply to: Bedlam

I was going to say. Talk about pulling up the proverbial skirt on a new project.



posted on Mar, 2 2017 @ 10:35 PM
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a reply to: Barnalby

Well there was all that tech from a previously cancelled program just laying around....



posted on Mar, 2 2017 @ 10:37 PM
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a reply to: Bedlam

So it's not just me thinking, wow, he really just put that out there. I mean, I don't know anything about the program, but that comment flies in the face of my thought of the Kc-z as a sort of B2 with a boom attached.



posted on Mar, 3 2017 @ 08:57 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod

do tell.

EDIT - hit reply to the wrong post.
edit on 3-3-2017 by PhantomTwo because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 3 2017 @ 10:22 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Hey zaph, samammish...bedlam? Anybody smarter than me.

Is waveform management basically cognative EW to deal with signal diversity threats and issues.

Reminds me of the navy using active sonar to phase shift their aural signature but like on a whole other level. Wonder how much of it is from new skins and adaptive metamaterials and how much of it is from the radar actively messing with incoming EM through active deconstructive contributions to the return wave?

Either way pretty cool.



posted on Mar, 3 2017 @ 12:17 PM
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a reply to: BASSPLYR

You can do some pretty cool things with an AESA, your submarine example is spot on.



posted on Mar, 3 2017 @ 01:16 PM
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a reply to: BASSPLYR

Don't sell yourself too short there.



Sounds plausible but I know nothing.



posted on Mar, 3 2017 @ 02:41 PM
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a reply to: Sammamishman

In my failed attempt to become an engineer I did some basic DSP work and had a roommate whose dad worked for Bose. Waves are waves, whether they're sound, light, radio, etc, and theoretically it's not that difficult (with enough processing power and a precise enough emitter) to mimic the signal returns of a given signal in time with the original reflection.

It's the same basic principle that noise-cancelling headphones work on. They're not actually eliminating outside noise, they're merely outputting a counterpoint signal to the original, and that's enough to trick the receiver (your ear) into thinking it's hearing nothing at all.

I'd imagine, in theory, that tricking the signals processing software of a given enemy radar wouldn't be that difficult, either. You just need to know what sort of things the fourier transforms, etc are prone to filtering out (things like doppler shifts that are out of its reference range, etc), and spam the receiver with similar returns to overwhelm the already-small return of your stealthy craft so that it gets lost in the noise. Think of it as precision jamming.

From there, you can then have it pulse out a return of a given amplitude necessary to mimic the RCS of a certain target, and now, your stealth AWACS looks identical to a global hawk or an F-18.

The real tough part of this would be the long and arduous process of testing a prototype against as many foreign radar systems as you could get your hands on, while flying SIGINT missions to suck up the bandwidths and pulse profiles of as many of the radars that you COULDN'T simply purchase/defect/otherwise acquire in order to make educated guesses about how they function and how best to "spoof" them.

Basically, CONSTANT PEG, but with foreign SAM and AEW&C systems, a process that I'm sure would be super mega ultra classified for a bunch of obvious reasons. The end result would be, for all intents and purposes, the closest thing to a cloaking device that we've (probably) ever fielded. Yet another reason why it was, until yesterday, super, ultra, mega, captain insano-levels of classified, since now you can hypothetically turn any airframe with the RCS of a B-1B or F/A-18E/F/G or better into a stealth airframe with the flick of a switch.
edit on 3-3-2017 by Barnalby because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 3 2017 @ 03:15 PM
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a reply to: Barnalby

Trying to do that, in real time, even with as much data as I'm sure they would put into the system beforehand, makes every other development program ever look easy by comparison.



posted on Mar, 3 2017 @ 04:08 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

And I'd imagine that capability would be more than worth the developmental headaches. It would really be as much of a quantum leap tactically as stealth was in the first place.

I'd be shocked if they haven't been doing this for a while with subs, where you have much more space to stuff the computing power and the signals you're working with are easier to process and mimic.

Then again, Moore's law has done some pretty incredible things over the past few decades, and these days a low power consumption ARM processor from your average high end cell phone can push as many FLOPS as a small supercomputer did 20 years ago.

A decade ago, 4k video on your living room wall was science fiction. Now, you can get it in your pocket. I'd imagine the same thing has been happening at Lockheed, Northrop, and Boeing.



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