Air surveillance and weather radars are vital to the safety of global air traffic. The long-term reliability and high availability of these radars can be greatly enhanced with a properly selected radome. The primary function of radomes is to shield the radar antennas from destructive and extreme weather events while providing low RF transmit, and receive signal loss with absolutely no artifacts. They also reduce the life-cycle costs of both the radar antenna and radome system.

The major benefits of high-performance radomes for air traffic control (ATC) radar systems include:

  • accurate contact resolution in extreme winds, rain and temperatures
  • low life-cycle costs of the radar
  • shields radar against windblown hazards
  • high reliability and availability of radar systems
  • provides high level of physical security.

ATC radomes are not just for extreme weather environments. There are many locations with moderate weather conditions where radars have been able to experience these radome benefits, resulting in high performance at a low life-cycle cost.

A shield for ATC radars

The ultra-critical mission of radars is helping to ensure safety of flight. In order to do this, the perfect radome has to be a highly engineered solution.

The most widely produced radome type for the air traffic control market is the sandwich composite core, with three key features:

  • Specific radar frequencies: the best-performing radomes are tuned at the panel seams to reduce the scattering effects.
  • Quasi-random panels: an engineered design, quasirandom panels significantly improve the performance for both single and dual-band radars.
  • Advanced materials: The perfect radome employs the latest advancements in composite materials that are widely used in the aerospace and Formula 1 industries.

These important engineering factors contribute to a 20-year design life, maintaining the electromagnetic properties and the structural integrity to perform in all weather conditions.

Your partner in flight safety

There are many suppliers of radomes, but only a few are successfully supporting air traffic controllers and aviation authorities around the world. L3 ESSCO is the global leader for sandwich composite radome shields for air traffic control. The company’s field service network is second to none in supporting complex installations and providing preventive and corrective maintenance, in addition to technical support.

When safety takes flight

Through its strategic research and development investments, L3 ESSCO has employed the most current technological innovations to deliver the perfect radome. For example, the new Durashed membrane material for metal space frame radomes is inherently hydrophobic (water beading and shedding), and never needs painting. This ensures high-performance EM properties during hard, wind-driven rains, as well as low life-cycle costs.

L3 ESSCO’s innovations extend to the aircraft as well. Its newest engineered solution shields the in-flight entertainment communications antenna that is being used on more and more commercial aircraft. This airborne radome is fully FAA-certified. The air traffic control radar market benefits from these exciting innovations. Consider L3 ESSCO your partner in flight safety.