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Skin Paint Mode

Figure 1: Weatherinformation on airborne radar display shown in skin paint mode.

Skin Paint Mode

The “Skin Paint Mode” describes radar indication mode on a color display caused by the reflected radar signal from an object. Mostly the targets are shown to as a symbol (small rectangle or rhomb) on the airborne radar diplay. These symbols are monochrome and have got their own separate layer with own brightness control. Here additional information can be shown using other channels too, channels like secondary radar (for cooperative aircrafts using transponder code), ACAS or TCAS. If the radar finds a target without a tranponder code it is declared a primary target. This target can be shown as a colored area on the display, or in the jargon of the pilots a “skin paint”.

The information about weather or ground clutter (dangerous obstacles) are represented in skin paint mode mostly. Depending on the specific radar set there are features to show special targets in skin paint mode additionally, e.g. with a given size (RCS ≥ 30 m²) and given Doppler- spectrum (propeller-driven aircraft) suggesting that it could be a (K)C–130 air tanker. The skin paint mode to detect uncooperative aircrafts may be limited when these are flying near heavy clouds.

The so-called “Skin Paint Radar” is in the jargon of the pilots radar, that haven't incorporated a local tracker and can show radar data as colored areas only.