The Radome & Radome Support Structure (RSS) house the Radar Antenna for a fleet of Naval vessels. The Antenna is mounted onto stainless sleet studs that are bonded into the RSS. The Radome is then lowered over the antenna and fastened and sealed to the RSS. This protects the system from the harsh marine environment.
Due to the Radomes being mounted high up on the Naval Ships, weight is of paramount importance. The RSS also needs to be suitably stiff since Radome, Antenna & RSS are lifted as one unit on the ship. The RSS is therefore manufactured from pre-preg carbon fibre with a nomex core, tufnol hardpoints are also incorporated. These materials give the best possible strength to weight ratio. The radome also has a Nomex core but uses Glass Pre-preg skins to ensure that it has the appropriate di-electric properties.
Mould tools were supplied from a previous manufacturer and were refurbished by NORCO prior to manufacture. To aid the manufacture process, the Radome tool was modified to be capable of 360-degree rotation in the horizontal axis. All of the pre-preg for the project was CNC kit cut to ensure that ply overlaps/ joins were consistent and accurately controlled.
Working closely with a large company such as Airbus Defence & Space to successfully deliver this project, continues to cement NORCO as a key composite manufacturer in the Defence and Communications sector.