The diagnosis of SSR radars is of great importance. These radars are one of the fundamental tools of air traffic surveillance.
Making a diagnosis of this kind of antennas, as far as the radiation pattern is concerned, has certain complications. Let’s see the different approaches and their weaknesses:
- Some approaches use an aircraft (not UAV) to capture the signal: the cost of these solutions can be high.
- Use of portable ground stations: they only collect the diagram information at a specific elevation.
- UAV approach: It has the advantage of operating cost, but due to height limitations (120m), it cannot capture the whole radiation diagram in the far-field.
We have developed a system that allows us to capture the signal in the near-field with a UAV. Once we have the near-field data, we reconstruct the far-field through our development algorithms. Besides, we can perform this diagnosis with antennas in operation.
These are some of the results of one of the secondary radars (A / C mode) diagnosed:
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