What are the Workings of Stealth Technology?

The fundamental principles of radar systems are explained in the article How Radar Works. The concept is that radar antennas send out bursts of radio energy that reflect off the things they meet. Radar antennas can use the time it takes for a reflection to arrive to determine an object’s distance.

Because the plane’s metal body is very good at reflecting radar signals, radar equipment can easily identify and track planes.

Stealth technology’s objective is to render an aircraft invisible to radar. Invisibility can be created in two ways:

  • Aircraft can be shaped in such a way that radar signals that the aircraft reflects are reflected away from the radar device.
  • Radar-absorbing materials can be used to cover aircraft.

The shape of most conventional aircraft is rounded. In addition to being more aerodynamic, this shape makes a very effective radar reflector. Because of its round shape, some of the radar signals will be reflected no matter where it reaches the aircraft.

Stealth planes, on the other hand, have very sharp edges and perfectly flat surfaces. The radar signal is reflected at an angle when it hits a stealth aircraft.

Additionally, radar energy can be absorbed by treating the surfaces of stealth aircraft. The net outcome is that a secrecy airplane like the F-117A can have the radar mark of a bird rather than a plane. When the plane is banking, this is the only exception. A burst of radar energy is frequently completely reflected in the antenna by one of the aircraft’s panels.