The goal for a radome design is to provide a protective structural cover that has minimal affect on the function of the antenna system. Radomes provide the antenna system with a controlled environment shielding sensitive equipment from weather related stresses such as wind, snow, ice, salt spray, etc. radomes increase the useful life of the antenna and decrease overall maintenance costs for the system. Consideration for a radome should be given early in the design phase of the system as a radome will allow for lighter duty and less expensive components such as drive motors and foundations due to the elimination of wind loads on the antenna. The controlled environment inside the radome provides greater system availability. The radome will allow the antenna to operate in more adverse environmental conditions with minimal signal degradation. It will also allow maintenance personal protection from the elements during antenna maintenance.
For a radome to be a benefit, the unique attributes of the system being protected must be taken into consideration before proposing a radome solution. A well-designed radome takes specific application factors into consideration to avoid negatively affecting performance of the antenna system. ITI radomes are analysed and configured with the specific application requirements of the end user in mind.
Careful selection of a radome can improve overall system performance and readiness by:
- Allows operation in severe weather by protecting the antenna from wind, rain, snow, hail, sand, salt spray, insects, animals, UV damage, windblown debris, and wide temperature fluctuations
- Provides security for the antenna system protecting it from observation, vandalism etc.
- Provides a controlled environment which minimizes downtime, extends component and system operating life
- Permits the use of more economical antenna pedestals, foundations, and drive system components