Improved Electrical Characteristics of Airborne Radomes

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8117-10-C-0012
Agency Tracking Number: F093-196-1087
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2010
Solitcitation Year: 2009
Solitcitation Topic Code: AF093-196
Solitcitation Number: 2009.3
Small Business Information
Texas Research Institute Austin, Inc.
9063 Bee Caves Road, Austin, TX, 78733
Duns: 625120902
Hubzone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Russell Austin
 Principal Investigator
 (512) 263-2101
 raustin@tri-austin.com
Business Contact
 Monte Fellingham
Title: Contracts Administrator
Phone: (512) 263-2101
Email: mfellingham@tri-austin.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
The 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.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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