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Author Topic: Microwave ovens as anti-radar
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Comment: First, some links:

There are others basically quoting the same facts, viz:

During the NATO bombing campaign in Serbia, a Russian scientist advised
that microwave ovens modified to work with their doors open and pointed
toward the sky could be placed around radar installations and used to
decoy anti-radar HARM missiles. Surely not. In terms of relative power
levels, it would be like trying to decoy a heat seeking misile with a
sparkler. Could this work (highly unlikely IMHO) or did the Serbs try it
in the mistaken impression it would work (possibly more likely) or is it a
complete fabrication?

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You know, when I read that first web page, I thought, "This is crazy! That wouldn't work." But I don't have the technical background to know why. I forwarded the site to my brother.

His background: F-16 pilot for the USAF, over three years assigned to a squadron whose primary mission was suppression of enemy air defense (in other words, defeating enemy radars through different techniques, primarily anti-radiation missiles), three tours in support of Operation Southern Watch, and a degree in astronautical engineering.

The responses below are his. He calls it "WHAT HAPPENS WHEN COLLEGE STUDENTS ACQUIRE A LITTLE KNOWLEDGE". The quotes are from the website; the responses are his. If he seems a little forceful in his choice of words, well, I believe he has a right.

During the war there were rumors about it, but after one year have passed, people started to talk, especially after the TV show that was shown on the national TV revealing some details of this story. That's why I say that these informations are no longer classified.
Gee, thanks, Mladen, for concerning yourself with the safeguarding of our classified information. If it was classified, it would be classified from you, you fuck.

The Army of Yugoslavia was using different types of decoys during the war. We were heavily outnumbered and outpowered and that was our only way to survive the air-raids. We even made MiG-29s from wood in the original size with smoke boxes producing smoke from the "engines" that were planted on runaways of our military airports. It was funny listening to NATO claiming to have destroyed some 20-30 MiG-29s when I knew that we have had only 16 of them at the beginning of their attacks.:-)
Very clever..and how many of those 16 do you have left? Now that's funny! When you have a gazillion bombs, a little overkill is a good thing.

Some of the decoys were the radar imitating ones. We used models of radars - usually some metal construction that looked like radar put on some old junk truck with something to emit waves so that it looks just like radar to the incoming enemy pilots - both visually and electromagneticaly (they were emitting radio-waves at short wave lengths). So we have simply let them attack, because we've had next to nothing to defend with, the catch is only that they were usually destroying decoys and empty objects. That's how we made it for 78 days.
Once again, I am impressed at how long you stiff-armed your eventual ass-whipping. 78 days! We were that close to giving up.

The most common thing used for emitting radio-waves of the same wave-lengths as of the radars was an ordinary microwave oven.
Now the real horseshit begins...Ordinary microwave ovens, designed for the specific purpose of exciting the lowly water molecule, operate at a frequency of 2.45 GHz. That is in the range of some search radars, but not the tracking radars, which operate on a much higher frequency due to the required fidelity.

I supposed that you know that the energy of electro-magnetic waves is directly proportional to their frequency. The formula E=h*f where E is energy, f is frequency and h is Planck's constant.
Nice use of an equation to lend credibility to an argument (reminds me of a first year psychology student who suddenly begins analyzing everybody). This weak-dick, basic equation is not the primary driver for radar power or output or detection or anything.

The radar needs to emit the enormous amounts of energy, because the wave needs to go very far (hundreds of kilometers) than to reflect from the object (in this case an airplane) and after all to came back all the way and still remain strong enough that you can reliably receive it and actually see the incoming plane on the radar screen. That's why the radar uses extremely short wave lengths. The shorter the wave length - the bigger the frequency. The bigger the frequency - the bigger the energy. That simple.
Not so fast, Jr Einstein. The wavelength is not the biggest driver of "energy" as you like to put it. It's the power output of the antenna, which is related to size and how much juice you put through it.

On the other hand the microwave oven also needs the big amounts of energy because it's primar purpose is cooking which requires a lot of energy. For the same reason as radar the microwave uses short wave lengths. These wave - lengths are widely known as MICRO-WAVES.
Yeah, and in the 60's I invented a heat beam called the LASER. I'm willing to bet that cooking with a microwave requires less energy than traditional cooking as you are using the water in the food to your advantage.

That's how someone came to an idea of using microwave ovens. It would have been certainly much better if we have had developed special decoys, but it was in the middle of the war, and something like that would have taken months of construction. The existing microwave ovens were just set to work with their doors opened and used as decoys. They were emitting microwaves that were like the ones from air-defense radars.
Yeah, if it was the 69th Hamburglar Air Defense Battalion. Air defense radars generally don't operate at 2.45 GHz as described earlier.

About your question: can the real radar operate when surrounded by microwaves? Well I'm not sure. I suppose that it can. And why not? It only uses one frequency for sending and the same frequency for receiving. It is probably not disturbed by the frequencies sent by MW ovens that operate at different but close frequency. The radar can be set to work at various frequencies and I suppose that all the MW ovens doesn't use the same frequency as well.
Actually, they all do since water=water=water. I guess they don't learn you much in them Belgrade schools.

There are several devices that transceive at various (but close) frequencies in MW band, but only one of them is receiving his own frequency. That's my guess, but I don't know for sure.
Smartest thing he's said so far (the part about not knowing for sure.)

What I know for sure is that we were also using some very old soviet-made radars (from the 1950's) that used extremely long waves (long for MW band, of course - everything is relative, as someone once said :-). These radars were considered hopelessly obsolete, but they came as a surprise for NATO. They just didn't expect that something working on that frequency is actually air-defense radar!
Knowledge of what radars they have and what freqs they operate on comes as no surprise to anyone with an intelligence program. What they probably said is "Holy shit, the shielding on these peoples' microwaves suck, or else they're running them with the doors open!" It's not like we forgot what a shitty ass Spoonrest looks like.

So, while they were shooting poor MW ovens the real radar was working, giving coordinates to SAMs. And then... Well you can guess what was happening next. :-)
Yeah, we kicked your ass in 78 days, like you said earlier.

A typical MW oven has the output power of cca. 1-2kW and a big air defense radar has cca. ~100kW. I'm not sure if we were using several of them placed close to each others to increase power, or something else, but it certainly worked on smaller distances.
One hundred microwaves, working in parallel...this should be Slobodan Jr's first clue that this theory is bogus.

After they suffered the first casualties they learned their lessons
I don't think our first casualties (exactly two of thousands of sorties) happened for several weeks, and they sure didn't happen because we were spending our time attacking ovens.

So their typical tactics for attack was: First the big bombers (flying fortress' B-52) flies high above our missile range dropping tens of HARMs (Homing Anti-Radar Missile) that are falling slowly because they are hanging from special parachutes. They need 10-15 minutes to fall on the ground and in the meantime they are seeking for radars - if they spot a source of radar radiation, they automatically unhook their parachutes and activate their booster rockets heading fast toward the radar.
B-52s don't carry HARMS (High Speed Antiradiation Missile; get the acronym right, dipshit) and they don't have parachutes. He's describing an ALARM missile that the Brits carry.

That gives the opportunity for other airplanes to attack at lower altitudes for precise bombing without a risk of being spotted by a radar, because no radar can be turned on without being destroyed by HARM in just a few short minutes. But a HARM is just a piece of hardware that CANNOT tell the difference.
THE dumbest thing he's said. Call me on the STU if you have questions. (Note from Gunpilot: STU is Secure Telephone Unit. My brother is basically saying that the full description here would be classified, but, suffice it to say, the original statement is not true.)

That's when we turn on our numerous MW ovens. HARMS naturally rush to destroy the "radars", and in a few minutes the sky is clear of HARMS. The remaining airplanes can either attack risking to become a prey for our real radars that can be turned on now, or go back home without attacking their targets.
So again, how on earth did we overcome this technological phalanx? I thought we kicked their asses in 78 days.

Thank you for your concern about my future - it is much better now then it was lust year at this time. We are slowly recovering from consequences of war. Except, of course, for the lost lives, and depleted uranium that will take centuries to disappear. But that's another story.

Did you know that if you link up 50 microwaves in series, it creates a radiation neutralizer.

P.S: By the way, I have just remembered of one more similarity between MW oven and a radar. I've read a story once about some people on the military airport that have killed a rabbit in the nearby field (200-300m) by using an airplane radar. They simply pointed the radar on the poor rabbit and cooked him instantly!
It was actually a Mig-25 radar as the pilot was taxiing, but we'll give him credit since he didn't actually fuck anything up.

At first, I didn't believe the story, but when I thought about it scientifically (since I'm a student of electrical engineering here in Belgrade :-),
Look out.

I' ve changed my mind. Just imagine something that is about hundred times more powerful than a MW oven and has focused beam pointed into that rabbit. What do you think that would happened?
Wow. If you see any electronic devices labeled "Proudly made in Yugoslavia by Mijatovic Industries", I wouldn't recommend hooking it to your nutsack.

Gun"and there you have it"pilot

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Otter, the Other Reindeer
The Red and the Green Stamps

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[Laughing out loud]
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Southern Air Pirate
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My only question would be how would you disable the safety interlocks that prevent those Microwaves from operating with the doors open?

As to the rest of the articles that are quoted I would say the same thing that the second poster's brother did. A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing.

Southern Air Pirate

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Just a coupla' months ago, a story in (Wings? Airpower?) magazine relates how groundcrew were being warned about walking in front of the Lockheed YF-12 while its' radar was still operating. This story involved placing a sheet of plywood ahead of the aircraft (& I guess the dish wasn't "sweeping".
The Supervisor was somewhat concerned over "Cumulative Damage", but a hole was burned in the board while everyone watched ...

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Happy Holly Days

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Disabling the safety interlock on a microwave oven is quite easy or it used to be in the dim dark bpast i used to service them and all you needed where a few iceypole sticks just jamed in the locks they are just microswitches in there

tho it would be faster to just break the glass on the door

Dav(do you want to be fryed with that)ros [Big Grin]
Originally posted by Southern Air Pirate:
My only question would be how would you disable the safety interlocks that prevent those Microwaves from operating with the doors open?

As to the rest of the articles that are quoted I would say the same thing that the second poster's brother did. A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing.

Southern Air Pirate

Wake up --- time to die
So I'm Evil Get over it

People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people

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