Radar/Automotive/SATCOM Technical Session

Bigger Than You Are: The Emerging Role of Fractal Superscatterers

Eastern Time August 18, 2021 2:00 pm - 2:30 pm

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Dr. Nathan Cohen (“Chip”)

Metamaterials present emerging roles in contemporary RF applications. This talk describes one important application, specifically fractal metamaterials, as enhanced reflectors. Gain enhancement at selected and controllable frequencies can be substantial, meriting the moniker ‘superscatterers’.  Looked at as radar targets, superscatterers can present a radar cross section(RCS) far greater than that expected from the surface geometry and area. Superscatterers  are the opposite of radar stealth: objects look bigger than they are. The application of these superscatterers is key. For example, in vehicular applications, these tiny fractal-based superscatterers can be  installed in visible light road reflectors and or embedded on any variety of motorway objects, vehicles, and garments. This provides ability to mark roadways and object to enable a uniquely radar-based autonomous vehicular control—making lidar approaches obsolete. Similarly, such superscatterers can act as radar ‘license plates’ for small and even  large satellites, lending a solution to the problematic issue of  identifying and tracking space assets at otherwise marginal or absent  radar SINR.