Improved Electrical Characteristics of Airborne Radomes
Small Business Information
Texas Research Institute Austin, Inc.
9063 Bee Caves Road, Austin, TX, 78733
AbstractThe dielectric properties, and therefore the radar transmission abilities, of aircraft radomes are known to degrade over time. The physical mechanisms that allow/cause this degradation, however, are not well understood. TRI proposes to use its three decades of background in polymer and composite accelerated life testing; failure analysis; and polymer chemistry to develop a thorough understanding of how radome materials degrade with age and usage. Once understood, TRIs polymers group will recommend and test substitute materials to better resist dielectric properties degradation. TRI will be aided in this program by using its recently developed Far Field Range Emulation Tool (FFRET). FFRET can quantitatively and directly measure a radomes dielectric properties nondestructively. This tool will allow TRI to monitor dielectric properties as materials degrade without the time delays and expense of conducting through transmission radar testing nor destructive measurements of dielectric properties. BENEFIT: There are tens of thousands radomes used for military and commercial aircraft, ground-based radar, weather radar, coast warning radar, and ship radar. All of these radomes would benefit from a better understanding of how radomes dielectric properties degrade; implementation of materials that age more gracefully; and ultimately the FFRET tool to measure dielectric properties without far field testing.
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