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Raytheon : Patent Issued for Antenna/Optics System and Method

07/16/2014 | 03:50pm US/Eastern
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By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Defense & Aerospace Week -- Raytheon Company (Waltham, MA) has been issued patent number 8773300, according to news reporting originating out of Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews editors.

The patent's inventors are Stratis, Glafkos K. (Lake Worth, FL); Samuel, Alphonso A. (Tucson, AZ); Bellofiore, Salvatore (Vail, AZ); Knapp, David J. (Tucson, AZ).

This patent was filed on March 31, 2011 and was published online on July 8, 2014.

From the background information supplied by the inventors, news correspondents obtained the following quote: "The present invention relates to radar systems and methods, such as missile radar systems and methods.

"Radomes are structures designed to cover antennas and thereby to protect them from direct exposure to aerodynamic and environmental conditions, while being as transparent as possible to the antenna's electromagnetic (EM) radiation. However many types of radomes include various forms of discontinuities or blockages. These discontinuities are not necessarily due to material changes, but in many cases due to shape changes. For example, radomes on high-speed, airborne platforms are usually equipped with a metallic tip to protect the radome against rain, erosion, etc. However there is room for improvement in this field of endeavor."

Supplementing the background information on this patent, VerticalNews reporters also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "The metallic tip is at the very end of a dielectric/lossy edge which is an extension of the radome body, which is also lossy since it is the same material as the radome body. Surfaces inside the radome (cylindrical portion) that are at a certain distance from the main wedge have some blockage of the outgoing RF energy, but the blockage is not significant. Going further forward on the radome, in the region where the wedge begins to form, that part of the wedge acts almost as a metallic entity, especially at higher frequencies. This is because of the lossy material, combined with the wedge (i.e., the shape change), causes a significant blockage of the RF energy transmitted by the main antenna. That RF energy blockage causes a hole in the radiation pattern for the antenna, which is a bad thing since certain areas that are supposed to be covered by the RF energy, are in reality not covered. This lossy wedge, compared to the rest of the radome body which is cylindrical, causes a significant RF blockage, for the incoming or out coming RF energy. This lossy wedge has been found to lead to EM discontinuities for the main antenna located in the back of the radome. An approach to ameliorating these discontinuities, described in detail below, is to add a lossless wedge just before the metallic tip and go backwards between the radome tip and the antenna. This lossless wedge could be transparent glass or non transparent glass. The use of a lossless transparent material also provides the opportunity to introduce optics capabilities in addition to the removal of the radiation pattern hole.

"According to an aspect of an invention, a missile includes different radiatively-transmissive materials in its radome body and its radome tip.

"According to a still further aspect of the invention, a radome has an optically-transmissive tip.

"According to another aspect of the invention, a radome has a tip that is substantially optically transparent.

"According to yet another aspect of the invention, a missile emits encoded laser signals through its radome.

"According to still another aspect of the invention, a missile radar system includes: a main antenna; and a radome enclosing the main antenna. The radome includes a radome body and a radome wedge. The radome body has a wide end and a narrow end, with the main antenna at the wide end, and the radome wedge at the narrow end. The radome wedge and the radome body include different materials that are substantially transparent to radar signals emitted by the main antenna.

"According to a further aspect of the invention, a method of missile target guidance includes the steps of: receiving a reflected signal from an intended target of a missile, wherein the reflected signal is received at a seeker of a missile, after passing through an optically-transparent radome wedge of the missile; examining the reflected signal for the presence of signals not including encoding associated with the missile; and if the reflected signal includes signals including encoding not associated with the missile, rejecting and not using for navigation purposes the signals including encoding not associated with the missile.

"According to a still further aspect of the invention, a method of improving performance of an antenna includes the steps of: providing a radome with a lossless, optically transparent radome wedge and a lossy dielectric radome body; and placing the antenna within the radome.

"According to another aspect of the invention, a missile optical system includes: a radome having an optically transmissive front radome wedge; a seeker that within the radome that sends and receives optical signals on an optical path that passes through the optically transmissive front radome wedge; and one or more lenses in the optical path, between the seeker and the optically transmissive front radome wedge.

"To the accomplishment of the foregoing and related ends, the invention comprises the features hereinafter fully described and particularly pointed out in the claims. The following description and the annexed drawings set forth in detail certain illustrative embodiments of the invention. These embodiments are indicative, however, of but a few of the various ways in which the principles of the invention may be employed. Other objects, advantages and novel features of the invention will become apparent from the following detailed description of the invention when considered in conjunction with the drawings."

For the URL and additional information on this patent, see: Stratis, Glafkos K.; Samuel, Alphonso A.; Bellofiore, Salvatore; Knapp, David J.. Antenna/Optics System and Method. U.S. Patent Number 8773300, filed March 31, 2011, and published online on July 8, 2014. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=8773300.PN.&OS=PN/8773300RS=PN/8773300

Keywords for this news article include: Raytheon Company, Aerospace and Defense Companies.

Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world. Copyright 2014, NewsRx LLC

(c) 2014 NewsRx LLC

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