Radome (radiation dome) is used to cover a microwave electronic communication antenna. It protects the antenna from the environment such as the ground, underwater, and in the air vehicles. To eliminate any transmission interference, it would be desirable not to use a radome since transmission loss of up to 5% occurs with the protective radome cover material. The radome is made to be as possibly transparent to electromagnetic radiation and structurally strong. Different materials can be used such as plastics, wood, rubber-coated air-supported fabric, etc. To meet structural load requirements such as an aircraft radome to ground radomes subjected to wind loads, use is made of RPs that are molded to very tight thickness tolerances. Fig. 4.56 shows a schematic of a typical ground radome that protects an antenna from the

Antenna (150ft) protected by a plastic radome

environment (withstand over 150 mph winds and temperatures from arctic to tropical conditions, sand/dirt, etc.) using RP-honcycomb sandwich curved panels This schematic represents protecting in scrvice 150 ft (46 m) antennas. Sincc that time the most popular is the use of glass fiber-TS polyester RPs. The shape of the dome, that is usually spherical, is designed not to interfere with the radiation transmission.

The use of the secondary load structure RP aircraft radomes have been used sincc the early 1940s. At that time the problem of rain erosion developed on their front of the radome. It first appeared on the RP "eagle wing" radome located below the B-29 bomber aircraft. It had an airfoil-shaped radome that was 6 m (20 ft) long located about 0.5 m (11 ft) below its wing. On its initial flight over the Pacific Ocean upon encountering rain, the RP radome (and its radar capacity) was completely destroyed. This introduced the era of rain erosion damage to plastics in using a rain erosion elastomeric plastic coating (Chapter 2).

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