Investigations on Monolithic Radome Interactions with Active Electronically Scanned Array on Fighter Platform
The conventional fighter aircrafts are often equipped with fire control radar (FCR) using mechanically scanned antenna (MSA) with passive slots enclosed with monolithic conical radome. When the fighter platforms get upgraded with the modern active electronically steered array (AESA) FCR for better mission capabilities, even though radome change is desirable for optimum performance of AESA, it may not be feasible due to development time. This necessitate the evaluation of AESA radar with the existing monolithic radome. Hence active antenna aperture radiation pattern is required to be assessed with monolithic radome. To address this issue, simulation is preferred over physical testing, due to the reduced cost, time and complexity in measurements and ability to verify compatibility. In the present paper, the influence of monolithic radome on the active antenna radiation patterns are simulated and analysed. The characterisation studies helped for better optimisation of active aperture, optimum size for new radome development and additional space on fighter platforms that can be used for integration of new subsystems. Simulations are performed at two different locations of antenna inside radome. Experimental validations have been carried out to prove the efficacy of simulated results, which are in agreement.
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