Polygonal asymmetric reflector (PAR) to reflect identification signals and indicate one’s presence

Passive or active signalling of a person's presence, status and situation


Polygonal Asymmetric Reflector (PAR) unit with a number of reflective RF panels (RRFP) associated with a particular identity or message. RRFPs 7 and 9 receive and passively generate or reflect a different altered RF signal based on a unique antenna pattern of reflective RF panels 7 and 9 and reflect an altered RF signal 11 back to aircraft 13. Aircraft 13 recognizes the altered RF signal 11 from all other reflective signals returning to aircraft  which identifies the altered RF signal 11 as associated with RRFPs 7, 9.

Locating individuals over vast areas is the task of search and rescue personnel and the military and while many systems exist for signaling a searcher, the bulk of those are active devices such as a radio signal or a flare initiated by the lost individual. Active devices may be effective but have a cost in that they signal a general position of the individual to the search party and anyone else in the area. Further, such signals may not be able to include information about the person.

Navy researchers have developed a unique way to identify a person when that individual does not have traditional communications systems (radio) available or cannot use such devices. This solution is embodied in a geodesic structure that is quickly assembled or inflated by the ground-based person. Configurable panels of the structure are designed to reflect or resonate a RF signal emitted by a plane or UAS passing overhead. Based on the design of the panel, a signature signal is reflected back to the plane and that unique signal is compared to a library of stored signals on the plane. In this manner, the search team can identify who the person is, their location and other information concerning their status such as whether they need immediate extraction, medical assistance, the presence of unfriendlies in the area or if no assistance is necessary.

In one example, the structure can be designed to reflect or resonate an altered RF signal based on specific aircraft RF emitters such as a search radar, a weather radar, a fire control radar, etc. as well as a more specific type of emitter which is not designed for another task such as a purpose built RF system. The airborne system includes components that transmit RF signals and receive altered RF signals as well as recognizing each altered RF signal and associating it with a particular RRFP as well as recognizing sequences of RRFPs and associating the sequences with a particular message or identification.

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