A Radome is a lightweight, strong, transparent material that acts as an electromagnetic barrier. It’s a weatherproof enclosure custom-fitted to protect and house antennas in outdoor wireless communications systems. Radomes are usually cylindrical or hemispherical structures made of fiberglass, reinforced plastic, glass-reinforced plastic (GRP), or composite materials. They can be covered with a reflective or conducting coating. The following are five key elements that go into a Radome construction:
- Durability: The core materials used by Radome Manufacturers must be durable and lightweight at the same time, meaning technicians will have to be selective when choosing which layers to use. They should also consider weather conditions such as rain, fog, ice, wind, and saltwater.
- Strength: The structure needs to be secure enough to prevent the radome from collapsing during extreme weather conditions. This strength also has to accommodate any antennas or transmitters attached to it. Radomes are often raised on towers because they’re more visible than ground-based structures; if they fall, they can take nearby towers and equipment with them.
- Transparency: the radome must be transparent to protect electronics from harsh environmental conditions such as water, dust, and ice; it should also allow easy access to antennas or transmitters that require routine maintenance.
- Flexibility: Cracking under pressure is a big problem with relying on concrete. That’s why radomes are often mounted on poles, so if the surrounding area is subject to variable pressures, the pole will bend and absorb the stress without damaging the structure or adversely affecting equipment within it.
- Translucency: Much like transparency, clarity makes it easier for technicians to inspect antennas and conduct routine maintenance. It also allows them to have a clear view of the sky, so they can easily spot approaching storms or other weather conditions that may threaten the integrity of equipment inside the radome.
A Radome’s five key elements are durability, strength, flexibility, translucency, and transparency. For a radome to succeed, it must possess all of these requirements within its construction.