Chapter 15Ground-based Deformable Antennas1




15.1. Introduction

RADAR systems are designed to localize and characterize non-cooperative moving targets. They allow a precise angular localization thanks to the high directivity of their antennas. Directivity is a function of the size of the antenna and of the radio frequency wavelength. It is given by the radiation pattern, a mathematical function providing the evolution of the electromagnetic waves emitted or received by an antenna according to the spatial coordinates. To guarantee optimal performances, these antennas must be perfectly flat. Constraints in positioning antenna sub-arrays along a reference surface with an accuracy below a few millimeters or along a reference angle of few milliradian lead either to a significant weight of the sandwich-type structures or to an important volume and weight of the supporting structure.

Surface radar systems on ground and naval carriers require an improvement of structural and RF performance flexibility to provide low cost solutions with better tactical deployment and to open new capacities of implementation on non-dedicated platforms.

Recent developments in radar front-end technology show a clear trend towards miniaturization of electronic components for transmitting and receiving chains. Integration of the electronics will enable us to achieve very thin antenna arrays. As a result, the supporting structure of the antenna becomes subject to mechanical distortions entailed by the operating ...

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