SRC developed the Adaptable Radar Environment Simulator (ARES) to support development of an advanced ship borne radar being developed for NATO countries by a foreign manufacturer. ARES is a set of transportable equipment specifically designed for radar development and testing.
ARES injects a realistic operational environment digitally or via RF into virtually any ESA radar. The ARES simulates the operational environment of a radar by providing radio frequency (RF) signals for use in a test chamber that emulates free space radiation, or RF monopulse signals for direct injection into the radar RF processor, or digital IQ signals for direct injection into the radar digital processor.
The ARES design is fully digital (except for the free space RF interfaces) and uses a modular approach with many common modules designed to be used with other radars. The modules are easily exchanged since they will be designed around a VXI/VME format. Commercially available Direct Digital Synthesis (DDS) ICís are used. The ARES uses a central interface for operators to define test scenarios for the radar, configure the radar parameters (adjust performance and adapt to different radars), and control the operation of the system. The simulated environment consists of simple and complex targets, sea clutter, land clutter, weather clutter, chaff, and other ECM techniques. The system also provides a capability to surround a few live targets with simulated phenomena for realism. Another variation, just funded by the OSD, enables an actual radar to operate in a distributed simulation.