(19)
(11)EP 3 063 831 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
10.06.2020 Bulletin 2020/24

(21)Application number: 14857784.4

(22)Date of filing:  30.10.2014
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
H01Q 1/42(2006.01)
B29C 44/12(2006.01)
B29K 105/04(2006.01)
H01Q 15/16(2006.01)
B29L 31/34(2006.01)
B29K 101/12(2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/US2014/063020
(87)International publication number:
WO 2015/066251 (07.05.2015 Gazette  2015/18)

(54)

BROAD BAND RADOME FOR MICROWAVE ANTENNA

BREITBAND-RADOM FÜR EINE MIKROWELLENANTENNE

RADÔME À LARGE BANDE POUR ANTENNE À MICRO-ONDES


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 30.10.2013 US 201314066755

(43)Date of publication of application:
07.09.2016 Bulletin 2016/36

(73)Proprietor: CommScope Technologies LLC
Hickory, NC 28602 (US)

(72)Inventors:
  • RENILSON, Ian
    Dalgety Bay Fife KY11 9LU (GB)
  • WRIGHT, Alastair
    Edinburgh Lothian EH30 9RU (GB)
  • LEWRY, Matthew
    Limekilns Fife KY11 3HL (GB)
  • MACKAY, Sharon
    Kirkcaldy Fife KY1 2LQ (GB)
  • BAEV, Slavi
    Edinburgh Lothian EH3 5AA (GB)
  • CURRAN, John
    Kirkcaldy Fife KY2 6JD (GB)

(74)Representative: Parker, Andrew James et al
Meissner Bolte Patentanwälte Rechtsanwälte Partnerschaft mbB Postfach 86 06 24
81633 München
81633 München (DE)


(56)References cited: : 
WO-A1-2012/163237
US-A- 4 148 039
US-A- 4 980 696
US-A- 5 486 399
US-A1- 2002 093 459
US-A1- 2010 315 307
US-A1- 2013 002 515
GB-A- 2 225 902
US-A- 4 620 890
US-A- 4 980 696
US-A1- 2002 093 459
US-A1- 2005 190 116
US-A1- 2012 262 331
US-B1- 6 184 842
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    BACKGROUND


    Field of the Invention



    [0001] This invention relates to microwave reflector antennas. More particularly, the invention relates to a cost-efficient broad band radome for a microwave reflector antenna.

    Description of Related Art



    [0002] The open end of a reflector antenna is typically enclosed by a radome coupled to the distal end (the open end) of the reflector dish. The radome provides environmental protection and improves wind load characteristics of the antenna. Because reflector antennas are often mounted in remote locations, such as high atop radio towers, a radome failure may incur significant repair/replacement expense.

    [0003] A radome may be tuned to optimize the electrical performance of a reflector antenna, for example by dimensioning the radome surfaces to re-direct RF reflections in a desired direction. The radome materials and/or their thickness may be applied to self-cancel reflections. However, these tuned radomes then become antenna and/or operating frequency specific, requiring design, manufacture and inventory of a large collection of different radomes.

    [0004] Radomes utilizing a foamed polymer material mated with at least one layer of woven (anisotropic) material providing additional strength are known, for example as missile or aircraft radomes. However, the resulting composite may be significantly stronger and/or more expensive to manufacture than required for a static earth station reflector antenna.

    [0005] GB 2 225 902 A and US 4 148 039 A1 disclose radomes for antennas comprising a reflector dish, wherein the radomes comprise a composite of an isotropic outer layer and a structural layer of foam material, wherein an inner side of the structural layer is provided with an annular seating surface, wherein a signal transmission surface of the structural layer is encircled by the annular seating surface and wherein the signal transmission surface comprises one or more projections extending inward from a distal end of the reflector dish.

    [0006] Competition in the reflector antenna market has focused attention on improving electrical performance and minimization of overall manufacturing, inventory, distribution, installation and/or maintenance costs. Therefore, it is an object of the invention to provide a radome that overcomes deficiencies in the prior art.

    Brief Description of the Drawings



    [0007] The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification, illustrate embodiments of the invention, where like reference numbers in the drawing figures refer to the same feature or element and may not be described in detail for every drawing figure in which they appear and, together with a general description of the invention given above, and the detailed description of the embodiments given below, serve to explain the principles of the invention.

    Figure 1 is a schematic isometric angled front view of an exemplary radome mounted on the reflector dish of a reflector antenna.

    Figure 2 is a schematic isometric angled back view of the reflector antenna of Figure 1, with the antenna hub and mounting assembly removed for clarity.

    Figure 3 is a schematic cut-away side view of the reflector antenna of Figure 1, with the feed assembly, antenna hub and mounting assembly removed for clarity.

    Figure 4 is a close-up view of area C of Figure 3.

    Figure 5 is a calculated insertion loss chart comparing an exemplary radome to a prior art radome.

    Figure 6 is a calculated return loss chart comparing an exemplary radome to a prior art radome.

    Figure 7 is a schematic close-up view of a radome coupled to a reflector dish, demonstrating the outer layer extending over the outer diameter of the structural layer.

    Figure 8 is a schematic close-up view of a radome coupled to a reflector dish, demonstrating the outer layer extending around the outer diameter to the inner side of the structural layer.

    Figure 9 is a schematic cut-away side view of a radome not forming part of the claimed invention coupled to a reflector antenna, demonstrating a domed radome profile. The feed assembly, antenna hub and mounting assembly have been removed for clarity.

    Figure 10 is a schematic cut-away side view of a radome not forming part of the claimed invention coupled to a reflector antenna, demonstrating a domed outer radome profile. The feed assembly, antenna hub and mounting assembly have been removed for clarity.

    Figure 11 is a schematic cut-away side view of a radome not forming part of the claimed invention coupled to a reflector antenna, demonstrating a domed radome profile. The feed assembly, antenna hub and mounting assembly have been removed for clarity.

    Figure 12 is a schematic cut-away side view of a radome not forming part of the claimed invention coupled to a reflector antenna, demonstrating an inwardly domed radome profile. The feed assembly, antenna hub and mounting assembly have been removed for clarity.

    Figure 13 is a schematic cut-away side view of a radome not forming part of the claimed invention coupled to a reflector antenna, demonstrating an inwardly conical radome profile. The feed assembly, antenna hub and mounting assembly have been removed for clarity.

    Figure 14 is a schematic cut-away side view of a radome not forming part of the claimed invention coupled to a reflector antenna, demonstrating an angled planar face radome profile, with an angled rear face. The feed assembly, antenna hub and mounting assembly have been removed for clarity.

    Figure 15 is a schematic cut-away side view of a radome not forming part of the claimed invention coupled to a reflector antenna, demonstrating an angled planar face radome profile with a flat rear face. The feed assembly, antenna hub and mounting assembly have been removed for clarity.

    Figure 16 is a schematic isometric view of a radome not forming part of the claimed invention coupled to a reflector antenna, demonstrating an angled planar dual face radome profile with flat rear face. The feed assembly, antenna hub and mounting assembly have been removed for clarity.

    Figure 17 is a schematic cut-away side view of the reflector antenna of Figure 16, with the feed assembly, antenna hub and mounting assembly removed for clarity.

    Figure 18 is a schematic isometric view of a radome not forming part of the claimed invention coupled to a reflector antenna, demonstrating an angled planar quad face radome profile with a flat rear face. The feed assembly, antenna hub and mounting assembly have been removed for clarity.

    Figure 19 is a schematic cut-away side view of the reflector antenna of Figure 18, with the feed assembly, antenna hub and mounting assembly removed for clarity.

    Figure 20 is a schematic cut-away side view of a radome not forming part of the claimed invention coupled to a reflector antenna, demonstrating a structural layer projecting inwardly to the signal space of the reflector dish. The feed assembly, antenna hub and mounting assembly have been removed for clarity.

    Figure 21 is a schematic cut-away side view of a radome not forming part of the claimed invention coupled to a reflector antenna, demonstrating a structural layer projecting inwardly to the signal space of the reflector dish. The feed assembly, antenna hub and mounting assembly have been removed for clarity.

    Figure 22 is a schematic isometric cut-away view of a radome not forming part of the claimed invention coupled to a reflector antenna, demonstrating a conical inward protrusion. The feed assembly, antenna hub and mounting assembly have been removed for clarity.

    Figure 23 is a schematic isometric cut-away view of a radome not forming part of the claimed invention coupled to a reflector antenna, demonstrating concentric ring inward protrusions. The feed assembly, antenna hub and mounting assembly have been removed for clarity.

    Figure 24 is a schematic isometric cut-away view of an embodiment of a radome according to the invention coupled to a reflector antenna, demonstrating concentric step inward protrusions. The feed assembly, antenna hub and mounting assembly have been removed for clarity.

    Figure 25 is a table of range measurements comparing broadband return loss (in dB) characteristics over a wide range of frequency bands of a flat outer side and flat inner side composite radome in contrast with a flat outer side composite radome with the same outer layer and structural layer materials (0.5mm polycarbonate film and 25mm expanded polystryrene foam, respectively), which includes inward projections formed as concentric steps in successive 25mm step increments.

    Figure 26 is a schematic close-up view of a radome coupled to a reflector dish, demonstrating a retaining flange with a periphery portion.

    Figure 27 is a schematic close-up view of a radome coupled to a reflector dish, demonstrating through fastening between the retaining flange and the retaining element.

    Figure 28 is a schematic close-up view of a radome coupled to a reflector dish, demonstrating overlapping of the retaining flange and the retaining element.

    Figure 29 is a schematic close-up view of a radome coupled to a reflector dish, demonstrating an RF absorber seated in a periphery shoulder of the structural layer.

    Figure 30 is a schematic close-up view of a radome coupled to a reflector dish, demonstrating a retaining element with an S-shaped cross-section with inner and outer choke grooves.

    Figure 31 is a schematic close-up view of a radome coupled to a reflector dish, demonstrating a radome coupled without a retaining element, with a conductive edge and the outer layer represented separate from the structural layer for clarity.

    Figure 32 is a schematic close-up view of a radome coupled to a reflector dish, demonstrating a radome coupled without a retaining element, with a conductive edge and the outer layer represented separate from the structural layer for clarity.


    Detailed Description



    [0008] The inventors have recognized that a composite of a moisture resistant isotropic film outer layer and a structural layer of low density foamed polymer material can result in a radome with adequate strength which is essentially RF transparent, enabling a single radome to be utilized with a broad range of microwave frequency bands.

    [0009] As shown for example in Figures 1-4, a radome 1 has an isotropic outer layer 3 coupled to a structural layer 5 of foam material that is retained on a reflector dish 7, a seating surface 8 of the radome 1 mating with a retaining flange at the distal end of the reflector dish 7, enclosing an open end of the reflector antenna 9. An isotropic material as applied herein is one in which the material has a substantially homogeneous distribution. That is, the material is not a woven or fiber infused material, but a substantially uniformly distributed homogeneous material, such as a polymer film, coating or the like. The outer layer 3 may be, for example, a polymer and/or blend of polymers, such as polycarbonate, acrylonitrile styrene acrylate, polyvinyl chloride, polymethyl methacrylate, thermoplastic polyolefin, ethylene-vinyl acetate, acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene or the like.

    [0010] The outer layer 3 may be a film applied upon the structural layer 5 or a coating sprayed or painted upon the structural layer 5. The outer layer 3 may provide ultra-violet and/or impact protection for the structural layer 5 as well as a moisture barrier to inhibit moisture from being absorbed into the foam material of the structural layer 5, which could otherwise degrade the structural integrity and/or electrical performance of the radome 1. Any outer layer 3 with suitable moisture and ultra-violet radiation resistance characteristics may be applied. Further, the outer layer 3 may include signage and/or graphics for aesthetics and/or marketing purposes. In a balance between moisture resistance and material cost, the outer layer 3 may be provided with a thickness of 0.5 millimeters or less.

    [0011] US Utility Patent No. 4896164, "Radar Transparent Window for Commercial Buildings", issued to Burke et al, January 23, 1990, describes a conventional tuned sandwich radome structure (Figure 2 of US 4896164) with interior and exterior layers of polyester resin/E-glass (fiberglass) laminate provided on front and back sides of a rigid polyimide foam with a specific thickness selected with respect to conventional reflection cancellation. In contrast, an exemplary embodiment of a 0.1mm thick outer layer 3 (2.8 dielectric constant) and 25 mm structural layer 5 (1.11 dielectric constant), with an uncovered signal transmission surface 11 at the inner side 13 has a significantly improved broadband characteristic with respect to insertion and return loss, as demonstrated in Figures 5 and 6, respectively. Notably, while the insertion loss of the exemplary embodiment composite radome is minimal over the 36 GHz range between 6 and 42 GHz, the prior tuned structure is effectively unusable outside of two narrow 4 GHz wide bands of 8-12 and 27-31 GHz.

    [0012] As shown, for example, in Figures 4 and 7-8, the outer layer 3 may extend proximate to an outer diameter 15 of the structural layer 5 (Figure 4), to the outer diameter 15 of the structural layer 5 (Figure 7) and/or around the outer diameter 15 to the inner side 13 of the structural layer 5, without extending radially inward to the signal transmission surface 11 of the inner side 13 (Figure 8). With the radome 1 seated upon the open end of the reflector dish 7, the reflector dish 7 provides the remainder of the moisture seal with respect to the cavity enclosed by the radome 1, so that the inner side 13 of the structural layer 5, or just the signal transmission surface 11 of the inner side 13, may be uncovered.

    [0013] The structural layer 5 may be provided as a foamed polymer such as polystyrene, polyurethane, polyethylene, polypropylene or the like. The structural layer 5 may be provided with a thickness selected with respect to structural properties of the selected material and/or the necessary diameter of the radome to provide a structural strength to the resulting radome 1 which corresponds to a strength and/or rigidity required for the range of environmental conditions expected at the desired reflector antenna 9 installation(s).

    [0014] The structural layer 5 may be provided with a thickness from a distal end of the reflector dish 7 of at least 2 wavelengths of a minimum operating frequency, such that a conductive retaining element 23 or conductive edge 41 applied at the radome periphery is also operative as a shield portion inhibiting generation of backlobes in the signal pattern of the resulting antenna 9. A 25 mm thick structural layer 5 may be applied, for example, as a compromise thickness for broadband performance.

    [0015] The foamed polymer of the structural layer 5 may be cut to size or cost efficiently molded with a high level of precision, in any desired profile. For example, the radome 1 may be provided with a profile configured to extend inwardly or outwardly with respect to the plane of the seating surface 8, along a longitudinal axis of the radome (also the signal beam axis of the reflector antenna 1) to further reduce return loss, enhance wind loading, and/or improve the strength characteristics of the radome. A domed profile may be applied wherein the center of the radome arcs outwardly or inwardly from the periphery of the radome, for example as shown in Figures 9-12. The inner side 13 of the radome 1 may be provided flat (Figure 10) or with a corresponding outward or inward arc (Figures 9, 11 and 12). Alternatively, the inward or outward extension of the radome 1 may be conical, for example as shown in Figure 13, and/or the radome 1 may be provided with an angled front face 24 and angled or flat back face (with respect to a plane of the seating surface 8), for example as shown in Figures 14 and 15, which may improve ice shedding and/or return loss characteristics of the reflector antenna 9.

    [0016] The front face 24 may alternatively be provided as a plurality of planar front faces 24. For ease of application of the outer layer 3, the features of the outer side 14 of the structural layer 5, upon which the outer layer 3 is applied, may be provided with each front face 24 aligned with a common axis, such as the vertical axis, so that no creases are generated by projections or cavities which the intersection of non-aligned angled faces may otherwise generate. For example, Figures 16 and 17 demonstrate two planar front faces 24 arranged to form a peak extension from the plane of the seating surface 8 parallel to a vertical axis of the radome. Similarly, Figures 18 and 19 demonstrate four planar front faces 24 with each planar front face 24 also aligned parallel to a vertical axis of the radome 1. In addition to return loss improvement, planar vertical axis angled front face embodiments may be useful, for example, for addressing undesirable side lobes in the reflector antenna signal pattern.

    [0017] An increased thickness of the structural layer 5, for example for enhanced strength characteristics, without extending the outer dimensions of the reflector antenna 9, may be applied by configuring the inner side 13 of the structural layer 5, in particular the signal transmission surface 11 encircled by the annular seating surface 8, to extend inward with respect to the plane of the seating surface 8, within the signal space of the reflector dish 7. For example, the signal transmission surface 11 at the inner side 13 of the structural layer 5 may be provided with one or more inward projections 19, dimensioned to extend inwardly from the distal end of the reflector dish 7, seating also along the inner signal surface 17 of the reflector dish 7, for example as shown in Figures 20 and 21. To minimize material requirements of the thickened structural layer 5, the inward projections 19 of the structural layer 5 may be applied as reinforcing rings and/or ribs, for example as shown in Figure 21, which extend inward of the plane of the seating surface 8 and the retaining flange 29 of the reflector dish 7 of the antenna, along a longitudinal axis of the radome. To minimize any electrical performance degradation the inward projections 19 may be positioned for reduced presence in primary signal pattern positions, such as the horizontal and vertical axis of the radome.

    [0018] Additional improvement with respect to reducing the return loss characteristics of the radome 1 may be obtained via tuning of the inward projections 19, including, for example, use of conical, annular concentric grooves 20 and/or concentric steps 22, for example as shown in Figures 22-24. Range measurements comparing broadband return loss (in dB) characteristics over a wide range of frequency bands of a composite radome 1 with a flat outer side 14 and a flat inner side 13 (see Figure 3) in contrast with a flat outer side radome with the same outer layer 3 and structural layer 5 materials (0.5mm polycarbonate film and 25mm expanded polystryrene foam, respectively), but which also includes inward projections 19 formed as concentric steps 22 in successive 25mm step increments (generally as shown in Figure 24) appears in Figure 25, may demonstrate a significant return loss improvement in a majority of frequency bands, and acceptable performance across all measured frequency bands.

    [0019] As shown for example in Figure 4, the radome 1 may be coupled to the reflector dish 7, retained along the seating surface 8 against the distal end of the reflector dish 7 via fasteners 21 such as screws or the like which retain the radome directly upon the distal end of the reflector dish 7 and/or which secure a retaining element 23, such as a metal band, which may protect the periphery of the radome 1 and/or further secure the radome 1 in place. The fasteners 21 may extend through the retaining element 23 and into the structural layer 5 (Figures 4, 26) or fully through the structural layer 5 and two edges of the retaining element 23 (Figure 27).

    [0020] The retaining element 23 may be applied with an outer edge 25 seated against an outer surface 27 of the retaining flange 29 of the reflector dish 7, for example as shown in Figure 4. Alternatively, the retaining element 23 may seat against an inner seat surface 31 of the retaining flange 29 (Figure 28), providing an overlapping mechanical interlock between the elements and extending the path required for signal leakage to occur therebetween. The retaining flange 29 may be formed with a periphery portion 33 coaxial with a longitudinal axis of the reflector antenna 9, enabling the retaining element 23 to be provided with an "L" (rather than "C") cross-section, the retaining element 23 retained by fasteners 21 extending radially inwardly through the periphery portion 33 into the retaining element 23 and further into the radome 1, as shown for example in Figure 26.

    [0021] The retaining element 23 may also be utilized to retain an RF absorber 35 seated in a periphery shoulder 37 of the radome 1, for example as shown in Figure 29. The retaining element 23 may be further provided in a generally S-shaped cross-section, dimensioned to provide both an inward and an outward facing choke groove 39 for inhibiting back lobes in the resulting reflector antenna signal pattern, for example as shown in Figure 30. In addition to electrical performance benefits, this configuration also enables a fastener 21 (provided, for example, as a bolt and nut) to avoid penetrating the structural layer or a signal area of the radome 1, which may avoid secondary sealing issues created by multiple fasteners 21 penetrating through the retaining element 23 into the signal area of the radome 1 itself.

    [0022] The radome 1 may also be retained on the distal end of the reflector dish, without an additional retaining element 23. Where the retaining element 23 is omitted, a conductive edge 41, formed for example via metalizing, electrodaging, overmolding, metallic paint, foil or the like, may be applied to assist with signal pattern backlobe cancellation either on top of or under the outer layer 3, for example as shown in Figures 31 and 32.

    [0023] The bonding of the outer layer 3 to the structural layer 5 may be secured, for example, by application of an adhesive therebetween and/or integrally with a molding/foaming process of the structural layer 5. For example, an initial molding of the structural layer 5 may be performed and the mold opened for insertion of the outer layer 3. Alternatively, the outer layer 3 may be applied via spraying, either upon the mold or upon the structural layer 5. With the outer layer 3 in place, the mold may be closed again and final molding/foaming completed with an additional time period. Alternatively, the outer layer 3 may be inserted or sprayed into an empty mold and the structural layer 5 molded upon it. Thereby, the composite of the structural layer 5 and outer layer 3 may be formed without use of an additional adhesive. Similarly, the mold may include vacuum-forming functionality to draw the outer layer 3 into the desired extent, either in a separate operation or via vacuum forming the thin film of the outer layer 3 in situ within the mold before the structural layer 5 is foamed on top of it.

    [0024] Alternatively, the outer layer 3 may be heat shrunk upon the structural layer 5.

    [0025] One skilled in the art will appreciate that the ability to provide a single cost efficient radome 1, usable on a wide range of operating frequency bands, may enable significant reflector antenna manufacturing cost efficiencies. Further, the self supporting characteristic of the structural layer enables simplified radome to reflector antenna attachment arrangements with electrical performance enhancing characteristics that may also be cost effective and/or easily adaptable to a wide range of different reflector dishes 7.

    [0026] Although demonstrated via embodiments of Cassegrain reflector antennas, one skilled in the art will appreciate that concepts embodied in the broadband radome 1 may be similarly applied to alternative antenna arrangements also requiring the environmental protection afforded by a radome 1, such as panel and/or horn antennas and the like, with similar benefits and cost efficiencies.
    Table of Parts
    1 radome
    3 outer layer
    5 structural layer
    7 reflector dish
    8 seating surface
    9 reflector antenna
    11 signal transmission surface
    13 inner side
    14 outer side
    15 outer diameter
    17 inner signal surface
    19 inward projection
    20 groove
    21 fastener
    22 step
    23 retaining element
    24 front face
    25 outer edge
    27 outer surface
    29 retaining flange
    31 inner seat surface
    33 periphery portion
    35 RF absorber
    37 periphery shoulder
    39 choke groove
    41 conductive edge


    [0027] Where in the foregoing description reference has been made to materials, ratios, integers or components having known equivalents then such equivalents are herein incorporated as if individually set forth.

    [0028] While the present invention has been illustrated by the description of the embodiments thereof, and while the embodiments have been described in considerable detail, it is not the intention of the applicant to restrict or in any way limit the scope of the appended claims to such detail. Additional advantages and modifications will readily appear to those skilled in the art. Therefore, the invention in its broader aspects is not limited to the specific details, representative apparatus, methods, and illustrative examples shown and described. Accordingly, departures may be made from such details without departure from the scope of applicant's general inventive concept as defined by the following claims. Further, it is to be appreciated that improvements and/or modifications may be made thereto without departing from the scope of the present invention as defined by the following claims.


    Claims

    1. A radome (1) for an antenna comprising a reflector dish (7), the radome comprising:

    a composite of an isotropic outer layer (3) and a structural layer of foam material (5);

    wherein an inner side (13) of the structural layer is provided with an annular seating surface (8) configured to mate with a retaining flange at a distal end of the reflector dish (7);

    wherein a signal transmission surface (11) of the structural layer is encircled by the annular seating surface;

    characterized in that the signal transmission surface comprises a plurality of annular concentric steps (22) extending inward from a distal end of the reflector dish, wherein the annular concentric steps progressively decrease in diameter toward a center of the radome and increase in thickness toward the center of the radome.


     
    2. The radome of claim 1, wherein the annular concentric steps are provided as separate disks of foam material, wherein the separate disks are stacked upon each other.
     
    3. The radome of claim 1, wherein the signal transmission surface is dimensioned to contact an inner signal surface of the reflector dish.
     
    4. The radome of claim 1, wherein at least one of the plurality of annular concentric steps are dimensioned to contact an inner signal surface of the reflector dish.
     
    5. The radome of claim 1, wherein the isotropic outer layer is planar.
     
    6. The radome of claim 1, wherein the isotropic outer layer is angled with respect to a plane of the annular seating surface.
     
    7. The radome of claim 1, wherein the isotropic outer layer extends around the structural layer to the annular seating surface.
     
    8. The radome of claim 1 or 2, wherein the structural layer is formed of one of polystyrene, polyurethane, polyethylene and polypropylene.
     
    9. A method for manufacturing a radome, comprising:

    coupling an isotropic outer layer (3) to a structural layer of foam material (5), wherein an inner side (13) of the structural layer is provided with an annular seating surface (8) configured to mate with a retaining flange at a distal end of a reflector dish (7) of an antenna, wherein a signal transmission surface (11) of the structural layer is encircled by the annular seating surface, and wherein the signal transmission surface comprises a plurality of annular concentric steps (22) extending from a plane of the signal transmission surface (11), and wherein the annular concentric steps progressively decrease in diameter toward a center of the radome and increase in thickness toward the center of the radome; and

    providing a retaining element (23) dimensioned to couple the structural layer to a retaining flange of a reflector dish (7) of an antenna such that the annular concentric steps extend toward the reflector dish.


     
    10. The method of claim 9, wherein the coupling of the isotropic outer layer upon the structural layer is via placing the isotropic outer layer in a mold, closing the mold and forming the structural layer within the mold.
     
    11. The method of claim 9, wherein the coupling of the isotropic outer layer upon the structural layer is via adhesive applied between the isotropic outer layer upon the structural layer.
     
    12. The method of claim 9, wherein the coupling of the isotropic outer layer upon the structural layer is via partial forming of the structural layer within a mold; opening the mold, placing the isotropic outer layer upon the structural layer and closing the mold for an additional time period.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Radom (1) für eine Antenne, welche eine Reflektorschüssel (7) umfasst, wobei das Radom umfasst:

    einen Verbund aus einer isotropen Außenschicht (3) und einer Strukturschicht aus Schaummaterial (5);

    wobei eine Innenseite (13) der Strukturschicht mit einer ringförmigen Sitzfläche (8) versehen ist, die konfiguriert ist, um mit einem Halteflansch an einem distalen Ende der Reflektorschüssel (7) zusammenzuwirken;

    wobei eine Signalübertragungsfläche (11) der Strukturschicht von der ringförmigen Sitzfläche umgeben ist;

    dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass

    die Signalübertragungsfläche mehrere ringförmige konzentrische Stufen (22) umfasst, die sich von einem distalen Ende der Reflektorschüssel nach innen erstrecken, wobei die ringförmigen konzentrischen Stufen in Richtung eines Zentrums des Radoms zunehmend an Durchmesser verlieren und in Richtung des Zentrums des Radoms an Dicke zunehmen.


     
    2. Radom nach Anspruch 1, wobei die ringförmigen konzentrischen Stufen als getrennte Scheiben aus Schaummaterial vorgesehen sind, wobei die getrennten Scheiben aufeinandergestapelt sind.
     
    3. Radom nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Signalübertragungsfläche so dimensioniert ist, dass sie eine innere Signalfläche der Reflektorschüssel berührt.
     
    4. Radom nach Anspruch 1, wobei mindestens eine der mehreren ringförmigen konzentrischen Stufen so dimensioniert ist, dass sie eine innere Signalfläche der Reflektorschüssel berührt.
     
    5. Radom nach Anspruch 1, wobei die isotrope Außenschicht planar ist.
     
    6. Radom nach Anspruch 1, wobei die isotrope Außenschicht in Bezug auf eine Ebene der ringförmigen Sitzfläche angewinkelt ist.
     
    7. Radom nach Anspruch 1, wobei sich die isotrope Außenschicht um die Strukturschicht herum zur ringförmigen Sitzfläche erstreckt.
     
    8. Radom nach Anspruch 1 oder 2, wobei die Strukturschicht aus einem von Polystyrol, Polyurethan, Polyethylen und Polypropylen gebildet ist.
     
    9. Verfahren zum Herstellen eines Radoms, umfassend:

    Koppeln einer isotropen Außenschicht (3) mit einer Strukturschicht aus Schaummaterial (5), wobei eine Innenseite (13) der Strukturschicht mit einer ringförmigen Sitzfläche (8) versehen ist, die konfiguriert ist, um mit einem Halteflansch an einem distalen Ende einer Reflektorschüssel (7) einer Antenne zusammenzuwirken, wobei eine Signalübertragungsfläche (11) der Strukturschicht von der ringförmigen Sitzfläche umgeben ist, und wobei die Signalübertragungsfläche mehrere ringförmige konzentrische Stufen (22) umfasst, die sich von eine Ebene der Signalübertragungsfläche (11) erstrecken, und wobei die ringförmigen konzentrischen Stufen in Richtung eines Zentrums des Radoms zunehmend an Durchmesser verlieren und in Richtung des Zentrums des Radoms an Dicke zunehmen; und

    Bereitstellen eines Halteelements (23), welches so dimensioniert ist, um die Strukturschicht mit einem Halteflansch einer Reflektorschüssel (7) einer Antenne zu koppeln, so dass sich die ringförmigen konzentrischen Stufen in Richtung der Reflektorschüssel erstrecken.


     
    10. Verfahren nach Anspruch 9, wobei das Koppeln der isotropen Außenschicht auf die Strukturschicht durch ein Platzieren der isotropen Außenschicht in einer Form, Schließen der Form, und Bilden der Strukturschicht innerhalb der Form erfolgt.
     
    11. Verfahren nach Anspruch 9, wobei das Koppeln der isotropen Außenschicht auf die Strukturschicht durch ein Klebemittel erfolgt, das zwischen der isotropen Außenschicht und der Strukturschicht aufgebracht wird.
     
    12. Verfahren nach Anspruch 9, wobei das Koppeln der isotropen Außenschicht auf die Strukturschicht durch eine teilweise Ausbildung der Strukturschicht innerhalb einer Form; Öffnen der Form, Platzieren der isotropen Außenschicht auf die Strukturschicht, und Schließen der Form für eine zusätzliche Zeitperiode erfolgt.
     


    Revendications

    1. Radôme (1) pour une antenne comprenant un réflecteur parabolique (7), le radôme comprenant :

    un composite d'une couche extérieure isotrope (3) et d'une couche structurale de matériau alvéolaire (5) ;

    dans lequel un côté intérieur (13) de la couche structurale est pourvu d'une surface d'assise annulaire (8) configurée pour correspondre à une bride de retenue à une extrémité distale du réflecteur parabolique (7) ;

    dans lequel une surface de transmission de signal (11) de la couche structurale est encerclée par la surface d'assise annulaire ;

    caractérisé en ce que

    la surface de transmission de signal comprend une pluralité de gradins concentriques annulaires (22) s'étendant vers l'intérieur à partir d'une extrémité distale du réflecteur parabolique, dans lequel les gradins concentriques annulaires diminuent progressivement en diamètre vers un centre du radôme et augmentent progressivement en épaisseur vers le centre du radôme.


     
    2. Radôme selon la revendication 1, dans lequel les gradins concentriques annulaires sont prévus sous la forme de disques séparés de matériau alvéolaire, dans lequel les disques séparés sont empilés les uns sur les autres.
     
    3. Radôme selon la revendication 1, dans lequel la surface de transmission de signal est dimensionnée pour entrer en contact avec une surface de signal interne du réflecteur parabolique.
     
    4. Radôme selon la revendication 1, dans lequel au moins l'un de la pluralité de gradins concentriques annulaires est dimensionné pour entrer en contact avec une surface de signal interne du réflecteur parabolique.
     
    5. Radôme selon la revendication 1, dans lequel la couche extérieure isotrope est plane.
     
    6. Radôme selon la revendication 1, dans lequel la couche extérieure isotrope est inclinée par rapport à un plan de la surface d'assise annulaire.
     
    7. Radôme selon la revendication 1, dans lequel la couche extérieure isotrope s'étend autour de la couche structurale jusqu'à la surface d'assise annulaire.
     
    8. Radôme selon la revendication 1 ou 2, dans lequel la couche structurale est formée de l'un des matériaux suivants : polystyrène, polyuréthane, polyéthylène et polypropylène.
     
    9. Procédé de fabrication d'un radôme, comprenant les étapes consistant à :

    accoupler une couche extérieure isotrope (3) à une couche structurale de matériau alvéolaire (5), dans lequel un côté intérieur (13) de la couche structurale est pourvu d'une surface d'assise annulaire (8) configurée pour correspondre à une bride de retenue à une extrémité distale d'un réflecteur parabolique (7) d'une antenne, dans lequel une surface de transmission de signal (11) de la couche structurale est encerclée par la surface d'assise annulaire, et dans lequel la surface de transmission de signal comprend une pluralité de gradins concentriques annulaires (22) s'étendant à partir d'un plan de la surface de transmission de signal (11), et dans lequel les gradins concentriques annulaires diminuent progressivement en diamètre vers un centre du radôme et augmentent progressivement en épaisseur vers le centre du radôme ; et

    fournir un élément de retenue (23) dimensionné pour accoupler la couche structurale à une bride de retenue d'un réflecteur parabolique (7) d'une antenne de telle sorte que les gradins concentriques annulaires s'étendent vers le réflecteur parabolique.


     
    10. Procédé selon la revendication 9, dans lequel l'étape consistant à accoupler la couche extérieure isotrope sur la couche structurale s'effectue en plaçant la couche extérieure isotrope dans un moule, en fermant le moule et en formant la couche structurale dans le moule.
     
    11. Procédé selon la revendication 9, dans lequel l'étape consistant à accoupler la couche extérieure isotrope sur la couche structurale s'effectue en appliquant un adhésif entre la couche extérieure isotrope et la couche structurale.
     
    12. Procédé selon la revendication 9, dans lequel l'étape consistant à accoupler la couche extérieure isotrope sur la couche structurale s'effectue en formant partiellement la couche structurale dans un moule ; en ouvrant le moule, en plaçant la couche extérieure isotrope sur la couche structurale et en fermant le moule pendant une période supplémentaire.
     




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    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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    Patent documents cited in the description