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radar

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what would be a good physic's engien to model radar in my project, i was thinking of haveing a invisable sphere or other sized shape for the radar waves of the aircraft and when another object enters this object it is detected but two problems i have is how can i have low flying planes for example get through the radar if the sphere is at land level and what if its a steath plane, i think i need a bettter solution, any ideas ppl

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This is a problem I've investigated recently for use in tools for analysing capabilities in naval warfare.

From a highly scientific view what it boiled down to was an approximation model based on three components, namely the characteristics of: the radar/sonar, the target/source and of ambient elements (such as terrain or other sources of interference).

But those calculations are way to much to deal with when aiming for a good framerate. The easiest solution for you is probably to assign each target a value describing how well it is detected (reflection) and do something simple like
"if ( distance - reflect < radarrange ) pling();" with optional super-simple corrections for terrain interference/obstruction if the radar is at ground/sea level. E g if the angle between the target and the ground plane of the radar is less than something the target will not be seen...

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