RF Interconnects for Radar Applications

Radar is not unlike water or air: it is nearly everywhere. Powering systems that count on their 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.

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 maintain phase stability across multi-element arrays. Without an interconnect solution that establishes 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 arena.

Coaxial Cables

Our cable assemblies deliver excellent phase versus temperature and loss versus temperature performance and proven repeatability of these characteristics from lot to lot. Our unique solutions like PhaseTrack® maintain a flat phase-over-temperature profile, while our SiO2 cable assemblies are a significant advancement in semi-rigid coaxial cable technology.

Our extensive experience gives our teams the ability to anticipate and respond to the unique challenges your organization faces. By working with our engineering teams to specify the correct coaxial cable assemblies, radar system designers can ensure the best performance every time.