L-3 Corporation
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Specialty and Reflector Applications
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Specialty & Reflector Applications

Specialty Radomes and Reflectors
ESSCO manufactures a number of products other than ground-based radomes, including naval shipboard radomes, airborne radomes, submarine radomes and high-precision composite reflectors. For applications where antenna concealment is critical for security purposes, we also offer radomes that look like sheds, barns, steeples or other architectural shapes.

All of these products include excellent electromagnetic performance for their intended applications, providing up to 98% transmission efficiency depending on frequency. Some typical examples include:

  • Shipboard radomes are used in shipboard radar applications, high-data-rate communications systems, gunfire control and high-bandwidth data-link terminals.
  • Airborne radomes are used on both subsonic and supersonic aircraft.  They are used in applications such as high-band data link terminals, MMR (Multi-Mode Radar), Electronic Warfare, Airborne Early Warning Systems, Communication Systems, and Stand Off Radar Systems.
  • Submarine radomes are thick wall radomes due to the extremely high pressures they see in service.  These radomes usually require multiple layup and curing cycles.  They are used in applications such as high-data-rate communications systems and electronic warfare applications.
  • Composite reflectors are used in a multitude of applications and can be designed for ground-based, shipboard, or airborne applications.  ESSCO's unique design and molding process allows us to produce composite reflectors with surface tolerances exceeding 0.5 mils (.0005 in.) in order to optimize gain and reduce sidelobes in applications up to 44 GHz.
  • Architectural radomes are used to conceal the existence of the antenna on building roofs, behind walls, within chimneys or wherever they are needed to conceal the antenna from view and to protect the antenna from the environment.

Construction and Materials
ESSCO's advanced composites and special products are made from reinforcements such as fiberglass, quartz, graphite and Dupont™ Kevlar® along with matrices such as polyester, epoxies and cyanate ester. We also use core materials such as honeycomb (i.e., fiberglass, aluminum and graphite) and foams (i.e., polyisocyanate and thermo-formable cores). Depending on the application, these parts are oven-cured at temperatures up to 400ºF or in autoclaves, which require high-pressure cures at high temperatures.

Other materials are also available for special applications. Regardless of the application(s), we can select the right combination of reinforcement and matrix that is right for you application and to meet your requirements.

Please contact us to discuss your requirements, as we my have a radome design that will already meet your needs.  This will reduce the cost of Non-recurring engineering (NRE) associated with developing a specific radome for your application.  If an existing radome size is not available, we can design a custom-sized radome for your application.

Electromagnetic Performance
All ESSCO radomes have excellent electromagnetic performance for their specific applications, providing up to 98% transmission efficiency depending upon frequency.

In order to accurately analyze radome performance, ESSCO has developed sophisticated electromagnetic simulation capabilities to analyze the radome and the complex interaction of the enclosed antenna with the radome's electrically thick or thin wall.  In applications, where the radome does have an electrically thick wall the interaction (coupling) between the antenna and the radome is an important element that has to be taken into consideration during the design phase of the radome due to structural requirements.

"In house codes properly simulate the overall far-field radiation pattern of the antenna and radome as a coupled system, providing high-fidelity simulations of the far-field patterns, gain, boresight errors and other factors related to the use of the radome with the selected antenna system.

Wherever possible we use materials and tuning techniques to lower the scattering effects of the radome or to incorporate Frequency Selective Surfaces (FSS) that allow specific frequencies through while blocking unwelcome frequencies from penetrating the radome. All of these capabilities allow us to design a radome that will meet or exceed demanding RF specification requirements.

Standard Sizes
We can design advanced composite or special product structures to almost any configuration as well as low radar cross section (RCS) radomes and radomes utilizing other technology.

Typical Advanced Composite/Special Production Specification
Each product that we provide in this area is different and requirements vary greatly. Please contact ESSCO to discuss your specific application.

Advanced Composite/Unique RF Applications
ESSCO can also design advanced composite or special product structures to almost any configuration, including low radar cross section (RCS) radomes.  Each product that we provide in this area is different, and requirements also vary greatly.  Please contact ESSCO to discuss your specific application.  

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