L-3 Essco sets the new standard for metal space frame radomes with Dyneema Crystal Technology

L-3 Essco sets the new standard for metal space frame radomes with Dyneema Crystal Technology

L-3 Essco radome with Dyneema input

April 2015

L-3’s latest radome, using patent-pending Dyneema technology, provides greater structural integrity, protects sensitive equipment and is transparent to microwaves

New York-based L-3 Essco, the world’s leading manufacturer and installer of ground-based radomes, has announced its new Durashed Radome, the latest innovation in Metal Space Frame (MSF) protective structures.

The solution, developed in exclusive arrangement with DSM Dyneema, incorporates the latest innovation in ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) material, a patent-pending membrane branded as Dyneema Crystal Technology.

The Dyneema Crystal Technology is exceptionally hydrophobic and 50 per cent stronger than standard skins. It provides increased structural integrity to the radome and protects sensitive equipment by keeping the elements outside where they belong. It is also nearly transparent to microwaves, enabling military, civil and telecom organisations to realise the full potential of their advanced antenna, radar, radio astronomy or communications systems.

“We are constantly focused on implementing innovations that provide our customers with superior solutions,” said Thomas Casale, president of L-3 Essco. “Over the next few months, L-3 Essco will introduce a new generation of MSF radomes by rolling out a series of advances designed to deliver more value and respond to our customers’ evolving requirements. The first enhancement is our exclusive Durashed Radome with Dyneema crystal technology. Extensive independent testing of this new solution in extreme conditions has demonstrated revolutionary safety and performance increases, and we anticipate it will become the new go-to standard for the industry.”

Hydrophobicity is critical to achieving RF transparency in wet environments. Normally, this is provided by a resin-based coating that must be reapplied every few years for maximum effectiveness. With L-3 Essco’s new solution, hydrophobic properties are inherent in the membrane itself, virtually eliminating the need for regular maintenance.

“We are very excited to be working together with a dynamic company like L-3 Essco on this groundbreaking development,” said Danielle Petra, new business development manager at DSM Dyneema. “Our two companies share a spirit of innovation, and together, we have been able to extend the envelope of what can be done with Dyneema fibre.”

L-3 Essco’s Durashed Radome with Dyneema Crystal Technology offers maximum transparency and protection over a broad band of frequencies, providing greater range, higher accuracy and sensitivity, and more consistent performance. Specific benefits include:

• The lighter, 50 per cent stronger membrane increases the structural integrity of the Durashed Radome, which can withstand wind speeds up to 250 mph and all forms of precipitation

• A very high level of hydrophobicity (water bead contact angle with the surface is greater than 100 degrees) means that water is instantly shed, which is critical at certain operating frequency bands

• An extremely low (0.004) loss tangent increases RF transparency

• The membrane can easily be sized to fit all existing L-3 Essco MSF panel sizes and truncations

• Reduced manufacturing cycle times mean orders can be delivered in two-thirds the time of conventional products

• Reduced maintenance requirements minimise costly downtime and lower lifetime costs

• Solution comes with the industry’s only 10-year limited warranty when installed by factory-trained L-3 Essco personnel

• Overall superior performance for the price means more value for customers

L-3 Essco and its subsidiary L-3 Essco Collins Limited (ECL) are the world’s premier designers and manufacturers of ground-based radomes, reflectors and RF composite structures. Since its founding in 1961, Essco has successfully produced and installed over 5,000 ground-based radomes and more than 10 of the world’s most precise radio telescopes and reflectors.

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