VIRAF – Virtual Aircraft Framework


VIRAF Virtual Aircraft Framework


Radar and Infrared Signatures

Viraf-ir-rcs-analysis-simulation-of-military-aircraftTo successfully complete their missions, modern military aircraft increasingly rely on staying undetected for as long as possible and to detect their targets before they themselves are detected. When detected, it is important that an aircraft presents as small a target as possible to make target identification harder and to increase the effectiveness of countermeasures.

The primary means of avoiding detection is to try and appear invisible by reducing the aircraft’s Radar (RCS) and Infrared (IR) signatures. This can be achieved by considering an aircraft’s RCS and IR signatures during the design process, by adjusting the aircraft’s geometry and by using materials that help to reduce these signatures.

These stealth features help to increase the chances that an aircraft will be able to successfully complete its mission and to increase the survivability of the aircraft and the safety of its crew.



Viraf-rcs-polar-plot-analysis-of-military-aircraftVIRAF is specifically designed to provide an integrated environment for signature management of aeronautical platforms, both at the component and system levels. It is a modular framework which can offer both RCS and IR signature prediction and management allowing aircraft manufacturers to start optimizing an aircraft’s design at the earliest stages.

VIRAF includes a suite of advanced modeling and prediction tools which have been extensively validated through IDS’s 25 years of experience providing radar and infrared signature simulation and measurement services. Feedback from IDS’s engineers is also used to continuously update and improve VIRAF’s tools and working procedures with the aim of reducing the time and cost for an optimized aeronautical design solution.

VIRAF provides a full framework for the management of complex designs, thanks to the project/version data organization, streamlined workflows, input, output, settings and results history tracking and the ability for multiple users to work on the same project. It includes tools to interface with most common commercial CAD software as well as an advanced meshing tool to generate numerical models to be used by the signature prediction codes.

VIRAF is a modular framework which includes:

  • VIRAF-RCS for the prediction of the RCS
  • VIRAF-IR for the prediction of the IR signature

The VIRAF framework is based on a client-server software architecture: pre- and post-processing functions are performed on the client while computations run on the server. This architecture allows several configurations (from single client / single server to multiple clients / multiple servers) to meet the user’s needs.




  • RCS analysis of complex platforms, including aircraft, helicopter, missile, UCAV, UAV, drone
  • Antenna and array RCS analysis
  • Frequency Selective Surface (FSS) design and analysis
  • Operational performance (detection range, detection probability, range advance factor, self-screening range) and scenario simulation
  • Jet Engine Modulation (JEM) analysis
  • Diagnostics capability, by means of radar imaging, hot spot calculat
    ion, 2D fast loop analyses


  • IR analysis of complex platforms, including aircraft, helicopter, missile, UCAV, UAV, drone
  • Engine exhaust plume effect
  • Interface with CFD software for an accurate thermal solution analysis (surface temperature distribution and engine exhaust plume temperature and gas composition)
  • Environment effect
  • Polar and spectral radiant intensity analysis
  • IR imaging
  • Radiosity analysis
  • Operational performance (lock on range)



  • Viraf-rcs-analysis-simulation-uav-ucav-ir-mesh-detailSpecific features for aeronautical applications
  • Intuitive workflow, simply follow the front end tool bar from left to right
  • Oracle database data storing and history tracking
  • A comprehensive CAD environment with user friendly healing and cleaning capabilities and advanced meshing functions
  • RCS full-wave methods for very accurate results and detailed analyses: Method of Moments (MoM), MultiLevel Fast Multipole Method (MLFMM), Synthetic Functions Expansion (SFX), Finite Difference Time Domain (FDTD)
  • RCS asymptotic methods for fast loop analyses: Physical Optics (PO), Physical Theory of Diffraction (PTD), Incremental Theory of Diffraction (ITD) and Shooting and Bouncing Rays (SBR)
  • Monostatic and Bistatic RCS
  • Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) / Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar (ISAR) images / hourglass plot
  • Conventional (conductors, dielectrics) and nonconventional (frequency depending, plasma, multilayer, …) RCS materials
  • Multipath and atmospheric propagation factor for RCS analysis
  • Environment modeling for IR analysis, in terms of atmosphere model, background type (sky, ground, sea), sun effect
  • Sensor effect on IR imaging and lock on range analysis
  • IR materials emissivity, including BRDF
  • Automatic computational management and workload balancing to optimize resource usage and to reduce computational time