ANALYSIS OF EXISTING RADIOPARENT REFRACTORY MATERIALS,
COMPOSITES AND TECHNOLOGY FOR CREATING HIGH-SPEED
ROCKET RADOMES. PART 1. ANALYSIS OF THE LEVEL OF PROPERTY
INDICES AND LIMITING POSSIBILITIES OF RADIOPARENT
INORGANIC REFRACTORY MATERIALS
E. I. Suzdal’tsev,
D. V. Kharitonov,
and A. A. Anashkina
Translated from Novye Ogneupory, No. 6, pp. 45 – 49, June 2010.
Original article submitted February 25, 2010.
Radioparent materials that exist in the world, that may be used in the production of the radome of high-speed
zenith guided rocket fairings are analyzed. The main physicotechnical indices are provided for these materials
and the future for their application in radome production is indicated.
Keywords: radioparent materials, quartz ceramic, sitalls, glass ceramic, nitride ceramic, ceramic material
On of the main elements of contemporary rockets, con-
trolled by radar vectoring, is the radome. The head of the ra-
dome not only protects the antenna unit from climatic and
aerodynamic action, but in fact determines rocket tactical
characteristics and specifications, forming its aerodynamic
quality, determining the accuracy of guidance to a target, re-
ceiving the main thermal and force loads during manoeuvres.
Radomes should be resistant to any real action during
operation, maintaining radio engineering and strength prop
erties. However, with an increase in the velocity of contem
porary aircraft it is all the more difficult to fulfil these re
quirements. Radomes may conditionally be classified ac
cording to a series of indicators:
– by type of dielectric material: glass-reinforced plastic,
sitall, glass ceramic, ceramic, etc;
– by shape: spherical conical, ogival, flat and special shape;
– by radome wall electrical thickness: thin-walled, half-
wave, wave, etc;
– by wall construction: single-layer and multilayer (two-
layer, three-layer), etc.
Ideally a radome should provide total protection of the
antennae from the effect of external action without distorting
radiation of the received electromagnetic field, i.e. it should
be absolutely radioparent.
In 1956 in Rutgers University (USA) a proposal was
made about the use of ceramic materials for radomes for
guided rockets since the use of glass-reinforced plastic for
radome manufacture with development of rocket velocities
and manoeuvrability ceased to satisfy the specifications for
mechanical, thermal and aerodynamic properties. Attempts
to create new forms of glass-reinforced plastics not suscepti
ble to the action of high temperature, were not successful,
since alongside high density in order to provide radome op
eration at high velocities it was necessary to use a configura
tion with introduction of stiffening ribs, strongly affecting
the radio engineering characteristics of the object. Therefore,
turning to use of ceramic materials for radomes of high-
speed rockets was most desirable.
Of all known metal oxides that are used Al
tensively for creating ceramic mixes for radomes. According
to conclusions of the materials of the laboratory of the scien
tific Research Center BBC USA, radomes manufactured
with a purity higher than 97% operate at up to
1760ºC. One of the best materials based on aluminum oxide
abroad is assumed to be material grade Lucalox. The purity
of this material reaches 99.9%. A small addition of magne
sium oxide retards Lucalox material grain growth and pro
vides its density .
Ceramics based on Al
exhibit zero water permeabil
ity and they are inert to various chemical strongly acting re
agents. The materials exhibit high hardness, approaching that
Refractories and Industrial Ceramics Vol. 51, No. 3, 2010
1083-4877/10/5103-0202 © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.
FGUP ONPP Tekhnologiya, Obninsk, Kaluga Region, Russia.