A successfully designed radome provides a protective cover and has minimal affect on the electrical functionality of the antenna. Radomes provide the antenna system with a controlled environment shielding sensitive equipment from weather related stresses such as wind, snow, ice, salt spray, etc. A radome can 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 so allowing the antenna to operate in more adverse environmental conditions with minimal signal degradation. It will also allow maintenance personnel 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. A well-designed radome addresses these factors and can avoid negatively affecting the performance of the antenna system. ITI radomes are analysed and configured with the specific application and user requirements in mind.
Careful selection of a radome can improve overall system performance and readiness by:
- Allowing 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
- Providing security for the antenna system and protecting it from observation, vandalism etc.
- Providing a controlled environment which minimizes downtime, extends component and system operating life
- Permitting the use of more economical antenna pedestals, foundations, and drive system components