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Radomes

Radomes
Radomes

Ground based or Shipborne antenna should withstand:

High Winds

Icing

Other adverse weather conditions

They can be designed to meet above criteria

OR

Enclose the antenna in a “Electromagnetically Transparent protective shield” This shield is called a RADOME

Advantages

Cheaper

Antenna is lighter

Drive motor can be smaller

Radomes for Ground based radar are often in shape of sphere or 3/4 th of sphere

It is good mechanical structure

It is aerodynamic

Precipitation blows around it

1.

2.

3.

Snow is not readily deposited

Aircraft radome should be

1. Strong

2. Aerodynamic

Electromagnetic properties of Radome

1.

Low Loss

2.

Adequate bandwidth

3.

Should not raise side lobe level

4.

Low VSWR

5.

A low antenna noise temperature

6.

Should not cause boresight to shift

Two major types of Radomes for Ground/Ship based Radars

1. Rigid Radomes

• Two major types of Radomes for Ground/Ship based Radars 1. Rigid Radomes 2. Air Supported
• Two major types of Radomes for Ground/Ship based Radars 1. Rigid Radomes 2. Air Supported

2. Air Supported Radomes

Geodesic dome-spherical structure made of simple geometric shapes 1. Rigid Radomes • Has a space

Geodesic dome-spherical

structure made of simple geometric shapes

1. Rigid Radomes

Has a space frame

3D lattice of primary load bearing structure

Steel, aluminium or plastic

Dielectric panel enclosure

Eg. Teflon coated fiberglass

Metal structures are most commonly used

Superior electrical performance

 

Thin for same strength

 

Less aperture blocking

Cheaper

Easier to fabricate transport and assemble

Aluminium is typically used

 

Light wieght

Non-corrosive

No maintainance required

Panel Properties

 

Panels should be hydrophobic

 

Water forms into beads rather than film

 

Dimensions of beads < wavelength

 

No adverse effects of film

Shapes are usually quasi-random

 

To avoid periodicity and spurious sidelobes

Less sensitive to polarization

Typical performance figures

Loss due to metal space frame =0.5dB

Side lobe levels increase by 1dB

Boresight shift of 0.1mrad

Antenna noise temp increases by <5K

2. Air supported Radomes

Constructed from strong, flexible, rubberized air tight material

Supported by air pressure from within

Electrically very thin (compared to wavelength)

Implies low loss(0.1dB)

Very small boresight error

Shape resembles a weather balloon with vertical creases(stiches) called gores

Teflon fiberglass is commonly used material

2. Air supported Radomes cont…

Can be folded into small package

Easy trasportation

Assembly

De-assemly

Life is limited by

Exposure to ultraviolet light

Surface erosion

Flexing of material in wind

Damage by flying debris

Can be designed to withstand winds from 100mph to 200mph

Flexing of material in wind • Damage by flying debris • Can be designed to withstand

2. Air supported Radomes cont…

Disadvantages

Maintaining internal pressure can be a problem

Frequent and costly maintenance

Less rugged

Weather effects on rigid radomes

 

Important adv. Of rigid radomes -> ability to withstand severe weather

Rime ice (artic regions)

• Rime ice (artic regions)

Has little or no effect on

Spherical radomes

Trajectories of water

Droplets in air stream flowing

around large sperical radome do not impinge upon the surface

Droplets of freezing rain though can collect on the surface

Weather effects on rigid radomes cont…

Dry snow does not stick to cold surface thus not a problem

Wet snow on other hand sticks and effects transmission properties

Snow can be removed by heating the surface

Expensive

Tie a rope and move around the radome

Thin films can form if panels are not hydrophobic

Can cause attenuation of several dB’s

Radome Wall Construction a) Thin wall • Electrically thin wrt wavelength • D<0.05 λ /sqrt(

Radome Wall Construction

a) Thin wall

Electrically thin wrt wavelength

D<0.05λ/sqrt(ε)

b) Half wavelength

D≈ λ/2

Theoritically non relecting

No losses other than ohmic losses

Limited bandwidth and incidence angles

c) A sandwich

3 layer

2 thin and relatively high dielectric constant skins

Eg. Glass reinforced plastic

1 with low dielectric const. and λ/4 thick

Honeycomb or foam

Radome Wall Construction cont…

d)

B sandwich

Inverse of A sandwich

λ/4 thick skins with dielectric const. <the

 

core

e)

C-sandwich

2 back to back A-sanwiches

Used when ordinary A-sandwitches do not

 

provide sufficient strength

f)

Multilayer

More layers than c sandwich

Metallic Radomes • Thin metal sheets with periodic openings/slots • Good electrical and mechanical properties

Metallic Radomes

Thin metal sheets with periodic openings/slots

Good electrical and mechanical properties

Better able to handle Stress due to rain, dust,

lightning etc. and dissipate heat

Acts as frequncy selective surface (bandpass)

Reduces interference

Reduces nose on RCS of aircraft

When viewed by radar system not within its passband

Disadvantage of narrow bandwidth

Rotodomes

Radomes which rotates in sync with antenna

Used in high prf pulse doppler etc.

Used in AEWACS

Rotodomes • Radomes which rotates in sync with antenna • Used in high prf pulse doppler