IMPROVED RADOME PERFORMANCE
A pseudo-randomized panel configuration with panel-to-panel joint attachment accomplished through impedance matched bolted lap joints with minimal phase differential and low induced field ratio is utilized in most of our radomes as a standard design attribute. The goal is to improve overall radome performance by minimizing phase delay between the radome panels and the bolted joints which decreases the joints effects on sidelobe degradation and coherent scattering.
Two types of joints are commonly used in our composite radomes, an overlap and a butt joint. A butt joint is characterized by the joint edge being turned inward on both mating edges, and no fastening hardware visible on the exterior surface of the radome. The selection of which joint to use is based on both the size of the radome and the frequency of operation. An overlap joint can be used at any size or frequency, but normally requires some level of tuning to have optimum RF performance for each application. The butt joint at low frequencies does not have much RF loss, and the RF scattering is not significant. However, the strength is lower and the RF effects get worse as the frequency increases. ITI-RCS has developed technologies for panel to panel sealing that is extremely hydrophic, easy to maintain and long lasting.
We utilize a bolted lap joint configuration providing optimum RF performance, structural strength, and ease of assembly. The standard fastening system furnished with our radomes consists of a stainless steel bolt inserted from the outside surface of the radome and secured in place with a stainless steel nut. This method requires personnel on both the inside and outside of the radome to accomplish the assembly task. A sealed captive nut assembly option is available for performing assembly tasks from the inside only with access to the exterior of the radome not required except to seal the panel joints. ITI-RCS has also developed a variety of other fastening techologies that offer benefits such as reduced lifecycle costs, reduced maintenance requirements, and simplified installation.
Testing and material evaluations are performed on all radome materials including fabric styles, weaves and textile types to resin, core and coatings. We generally use testing to validate structural and electrical properties as opposed to published data.
If certified testing is necessary, we employ independent accredited testing laboratories located throughout the US.
ITI-RCS radomes including the exterior coatings are designed with a nominal service life of 20 years with minimal maintenance requirements. Service life will likely exceed 20 years with regular maintenance.