Hydrophobic surfaces allow for water to bead and run off the radome surface rather than sheet and create a thin film of water which would have a negative effect on RF transmission. A hydrophobic surface allows the system to operate in heavy rain conditions with less effect on performance compared to a non-hydrophobic surface.
ITI-RCS radomes are fabricated using a UV-stabilized hydrophobic coating that is integrated into the panel during lamination unlike paint which is applied after the lamination process. Integrating the application of the surface coat during lamination creates a strong chemical bond between the coating and the panel resulting in a long-lasting, durable finish that requires minimal maintenance.
Post applied super-hydrophobic coatings with contact angles exceeding 120 degrees are available, however, these coatings are not as durable and will likely require recoating the radome every four to seven years. The coatings utilized by ITI can be applied in the field without requiring disassembly of the radome.