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Picked Up By Radar

  1. Jul 26, 2013 #1
    What are the conditions that must be satisfied for an object to be picked up by radar?

    For example, what size must objects be in order to be picked up? Do they need to have certain physical/chemical properties in order to be picked up? Can non-metallic or organic substances like humans be picked up?

    Looking forward to hearing your answers.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 26, 2013 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    There is no easy answer to the question, but shape, size and material all matter.
  4. Jul 26, 2013 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    The article at wikipedia.org is pretty detailed:


    Read through that to see if it answers most of your questions. :smile:
  5. Jul 26, 2013 #4


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    Science Advisor

    Human RCS links:

    Detailed report:
  6. Jul 31, 2013 #5


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    2017 Award

    When describing Radar Targets, it's common to quote their Radar Cross Section in terms of the equivalent size of metal sphere. Even a skinny, thin piece of wire has an equivalent cross section which is much greater than its physical area. Basically, anything that disturbs the waves will reflect some energy. Objects that conduct tend to reflect well because currents are induced in them and these currents re-radiate waves out in all directions. People have very finite conductivity and a measurable dielectric constant so they will scatter Radar.
    I found this link, which may be of interest.
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