Phased Array Radar

Phased array radars are electronically steered antennas with multiple radiating elements to steer antenna beams rather than physically moving an antenna. Beam-steering for transmission or reception is performed by adjusting the phase of the individual antenna elements in the array. Carefully controlling the phase of each signal means the radar beam can be sent in any direction. The antenna array elements are each fed by high-frequency transmission lines; the accuracy of the signal phase presented to each array element depends on the phase accuracy and stability of the cable assemblies. As technology continues to evolve, phased array radars are expected to grow in popularity.

Advantages of phased array radar over traditional radars include:

  • Increased scanning speed
  • Improved accuracy
  • Electronic beam-steering

Common Phased Array Radar Applications

Phased array radars are a common element of many other radar systems. These applications can include:

  • Space: Used to track spacecraft and for research of distant planets
  • Ground: Frequently used by the military for tracking of ships, aircrafts, and other objects
  • Airborne: Used in missile defense systems

Coaxial Cables for Phased Array Radar

Coaxial cables are the connection between the transmitter, receiver, and individual radiating elements of phased array antennas. Precise control of phase for RF signals gives the phased array radar its desirable capabilities, so the coaxial cables used in these applications need to be highly reliable. Two types of coaxial cables are typically used in phase array radar systems:

  • Phase-stable coaxial cables: Designed for phase consistency despite environmental factors such as extreme temperatures, vibration, and shock
  • Phase-matched coaxial cables: Pairs or groupings of cables designed with similar phase characteristics despite being of different lengths

Want to know more about cable assemblies for phased array radar?

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