Title: Develop Radar Radome Materials, Processes and Test Methodology
Abstract: The FIRST RF solution proposed for this Phase I program represents a unique utilization of metallic honeycomb structural cell elements to protect the radar system and optimize the RF and RCS performance of the system. The proposed configuration represents an improvement from conventional cascaded-network impedance surface radome designs by using pickup and retransmit radiators with a layer of transition line sandwiched between them. This offers an additional degree of freedom for wideband matching while preventing problems associated with trapped energy associated with conventional approaches. The selection of specific materials and adhesive systems allow for advanced pulltrusion to be utilized for the lamination, eliminating costly and unstable autoclave runs. Test samples will be fabricated and evaluated for RF transmission, structural integrity and Radar Cross Section (RCS) performance. The hardware demonstration during Phase I will demonstrate not only the viability of the technical approach, but also the lost-cost and manufacturable nature of the FIRST RF techniques by completing the demonstration with the limited budget and schedule constraints of a Phase I SBIR.