21 May 2015 Radome effects on coherent change detection radar systems
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Abstract
A radome, or radar dome, protects a radar system from exposure to the elements. Unfortunately, radomes can affect the radiation pattern of the enclosed antenna. The co-design of a platform’s radome and radar is ideal to mitigate any deleterious effects of the radome. However, maintaining structural integrity and other platform flight requirements, particularly when integrating a new radar onto an existing platform, often limits radome electrical design choices. Radars that rely heavily on phase measurements such as monopulse, interferometric, or coherent change detection (CCD) systems require particular attention be paid to components, such as the radome, that might introduce loss and phase variations as a function of the antenna scan angle. Material properties, radome wall construction, overall dimensions, and shape characteristics of a radome can impact insertion loss and phase delay, antenna beamwidth and sidelobe level, polarization, and ultimately the impulse response of the radar, among other things, over the desired radar operating parameters. The precision-guided munitions literature has analyzed radome effects on monopulse systems for well over half a century. However, to the best of our knowledge, radome-induced errors on CCD performance have not been described. The impact of radome material and wall construction, shape, dimensions, and antenna characteristics on CCD is examined herein for select radar and radome examples using electromagnetic simulations.
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Ann Marie Raynal, Dale F. Dubbert, Bryan L. Burns, William H. Hensley, "Radome effects on coherent change detection radar systems", Proc. SPIE 9461, Radar Sensor Technology XIX; and Active and Passive Signatures VI, 94610N (21 May 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2179180; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2179180
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