Electronically-Steered Array Antennas (ESAs)

Electronically-Steered Array Antennas (ESAs)

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Electronically steered array antennas, ESAs, have been employed in surface based radars since the 1950s. But, because of their greater complexity and cost, they have been slow to replace mechanically steered antennas in airborne applications. However, with the advent of aircraft of extraordinarily low radar cross section and the pressing need for extreme beam agility, in recent years avionics designers have given the ESA more attention than virtually any other 'advanced' radar concept. In this chapter, we will briefly review the ESA concept, become acquainted with the two basic types of ESAs, and take stock of the ESA's many compelling advantages, as well as a couple of significant limitations.

Chapter Contents:

  • Basic Concepts
  • Types of ESAs
  • Advantages Common to Passive and Active ESAs
  • Additional Advantages of the Active ESA
  • Key Limitations and Their Circumvention

Inspec keywords: radar cross-sections; antenna arrays; radar antennas; airborne radar

Other keywords: avionics designer; mechanically steered antenna; beam agility; airborne application; ESA; surface based radars; radar cross section; advanced radar concept; electronically steered array antennas

Subjects: Radar theory; Antenna arrays; Radar equipment, systems and applications

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