Link Microtek produces complex 8-channel coaxial rotating joint for L-band shipborne radar system

Link Microtek, the manufacturer of microwave and RF subsystems, has designed and produced a complex 700mm-long 8-channel coaxial rotating joint for use in an L-band shipborne long-range radar system.

Enabling microwave signals to be fed to and from the radar antenna, the rotating joint features six PSR (primary surveillance radar) channels, each with a frequency range around 1400MHz, and two SSR (secondary surveillance radar) channels covering frequencies between 1000 and 1100MHz.

The design achieves key performance specifications such as a VSWR of less than 1.3:1, maximum insertion loss of 1dB, maximum insertion loss WOW of 0.1dB and phase variation WOW of +/-2 degrees.

In addition it meets stringent environmental considerations that are typical for shipborne applications, including the ability to withstand salt spray, vibration and temperatures ranging from -25 to 700C.

The company’s engineering team used CST electromagnetic simulation software to verify the performance of the design and SolidWorks CAD software to develop a complete 3D model so that the many individual piece parts could be fabricated. Once fully assembled, the rotating joint was comprehensively tested on a custom-built test

Neil Tyler