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An antenna is the mechanism by which the electromagnetic signal is radiated and received. For radars (although not necessarily for antennas in other electromagnetic applications), it is essential that the antenna enhance performance. A radar antenna has three roles: to be a major contributor to the radar's detection performance, to provide the required surveillance, and to allow measurements of angle of sufficient accuracy and precision. A reasonable place to begin is with the two expressions used to derive the radar range equation: antenna gain and effective area. For a transmitting antenna, antenna gain is simply a measure of how much focusing of the transmitted waveform is being accomplished by the antenna. Focusing is the ability to add up energy preferentially. Energy arriving at the antenna from a given direction is integrated; that arriving from elsewhere is not. It is assumed that energy arriving at the antenna is in the form of plane waves, that is, the phase of the arriving energy is constant over any plane perpendicular to the direction of arrival.

Chapter Contents:

  • 2.1 A Parabolic Reflector
  • 2.2 The Antenna Pattern
  • 2.2.1 Finding Half-Power and Null-to-Null Beamwidths
  • 2.2.2 Finding Sidelobe Levels
  • 2.2.3 Finding the Antenna Gain within the Antenna Gain Pattern
  • 2.3 Array Radars
  • 2.3.1 Beam Steering with Phase Shifters
  • 2.3.2 Other Beam Steering Approaches
  • 2.3.3 Element Spacing
  • 2.3.4 Array Gain and Beamwidth
  • 2.3.5 Array Thinning
  • 2.3.6 Array Design Considerations
  • 2.4 Exercises
  • 2.5 References

Inspec keywords: radar signal processing; search radar; angular measurement; electromagnetic waves; radar antennas

Other keywords: effective area; antenna gain; electromagnetic signal; sidelobes features; radar antenna; angle measurements; mainbeams features; phase shifters; paraboloid remarkable utility; radar range equation; antenna far-field antenna gain pattern derivation; surveillance

Subjects: Spatial variables measurement; Signal processing and detection; Radar equipment, systems and applications; Single antennas

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