- Conference date: 22–27 July 2007
- Location: Golden (Colorado)
Aircraft radomes, being an electronic window for the radar, are made of nonconducting composite sandwiches with glass or silica fiber‐reinforced facesheet and Nomex honeycomb or foam core. Trapped water or moisture can produce shadow on the image and severely degrade the performance of the radar. To detect water ingression in radomes, the available NDE techniques include x‐ray radiography, infrared thermography, and a radome moisture meter that measures the RF power loss caused by the presence of water. In this work we explore the utility of commercially available capacitive sensors with co‐planar electrodes that measure the change of the dielectric constant in the fringing field. These capacitive sensors, such as the electronic stud finder and moisture meters for wood, can exploit the large dielectric constant of water and serve as one‐sided detectors for water and moisture in radomes. The sensitivities of the various moisture meters were compared in the experimental detection of water introduced into radome panels and water and moisture trapped in retired radomes.
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