How Radar Works

Radar powered systems count on reliability and stability to achieve any number of mission-critical tasks, from helping planes land safely and not collide in mid-air to ensuring autonomous driving systems get passengers to where they want to go. With such critical tasks at hand, it is essential that modern radar systems feed reliable, consistent signals between phased-array antennas and the electronic devices that receive them.

A radar sends an RF signal out, which then bounces off an object. The radar uses the return signal to determine the location of the object. Coaxial cable assemblies, typically connected between the antenna array and the radar’s transmitter-receiver, are essential for continuous transmission and reception of RF signals with high accuracy and consistent speeds. And whether it’s to aim a missile or rely on a radar warning system to alert aircraft crew members, predictable performance is the only option.

A variety of technologies detect and track objects, including:

  • Pulsed radar: Emits short bursts of radio waves and waits for the echo. Distance to the object is determined by the time it takes for the echo to return.
  • Continuous-wave radar: Emits a continuous stream of radio waves. Distance to the object is determined by the strength of the reflected waves.
  • Phased array radar: Emits a beam of radio waves scanning across the ground to detect and track multiple objects at the same time.


Performance Requirements for Radar Applications:

Phase is a critical parameter in radar applications. The two primary elements affecting a coaxial cable assembly’s phase tracking characteristic are electrical length and temperature. For example, phased array radars rely on RF interconnects that maintain the same electrical lengths between the transmitter-receiver and antenna, posing a challenge when matching the cables. The coaxial cables must also stay matched over varying temperatures.

Many radar systems are in extreme and highly variable environmental conditions. RF signals must travel through the coaxial cables at consistent speeds regardless of these environmental factors. This demand requires a high-performance coaxial cable solution that enables phase and amplitude parameters to track consistently over changing temperatures and preserves this consistency, radar systems cannot position the target object correctly.

This is why it’s essential to partner with a cable industry expert that understands the significance of maintaining phase stability over a range of temperatures and the synchronous phase between multiple cables. Our cables are used for radar applications across some of the most stringent environments in the military and defense industries and among cutting-edge end-users in the technology area.

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Solution Times: Ideal for Radar Applications