Central Target Simulator Facility


FLC Region

Security Lab



4555 Overlook Avenue S.W.




FUNCTION: A high-performance, hardware-in-the-loop simulator for real-time closed-loop testing and evaluation of electronic warfare (EW) systems and techniques to counter the antiship missile threat to the U.S. Navy in the 8.0 to 18.0 GHz frequency range. Tests use actual missile hardware and closure rates, enabling test results to be reported in the form of hit/miss distances. In addition, openloop characterization tests evaluate the capabilities of threat systems and contribute data to the threat simulator validation process.

DESCRIPTION: The Central Target Simulator (CTS) Facility is built around a 114 ft × 127 ft × 38 ft high shielded anechoic chamber. A spherical array of 225 dual-polarized antennas is used to simulate the RF environment that the missile encounters in an engagement. Two feed networks distribute time and space coincident signals. The RF generation subsystem is synchronized to the missile radar in time and frequency. State-of-the-art modulation equipment replicates the characteristics of ship and decoy echoes, correctly triggering target discriminants. External inputs allow jamming signals or waveforms to be included. Missile hardware is mounted 75 ft from the array on a three-axis flight motion simulator. The loop between the missile and the facility is closed through a dual Xeon computer. This computer is programmed with a six-degree-of-freedom (6-DOF) aerodynamics/autopilot model that interacts with the guidance hardware in response to the RF stimuli. Simulations run in real time at update rates of up to 200 Hz. A battery of open-loop characterization tests is used to evaluate the performance of the missile radar subsystems, identifying design features, vulnerabilities, or limitations for potential exploitation by EW tactics and techniques.

INSTRUMENTATION: The facility uses general laboratory instrumentation and recording equipment to display and capture information relative to the tests being conducted. The simulation computer stores pertinent information from the scenario, along with 16 analog channels and 32 digital bits captured from the missile radar. A closed circuit television (CCTV) system allows remote displays to be viewed in the control room and throughout the facility, with recording via two VCRs. Communication is provided by a dedicated audio intercom.


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