Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Vittal Payat, PhD


Boresight Error (BSE), defined as the angular deviation between the true position and the apparent position of a target as indicated by a radar, is an important figure of merit for a tracking radar. A significant contributor to system BSE is the protective radome. This research effort employed a GO technique to investigate the effects of a radome on BSE, expanding previous ray- trace receive techniques to include: (1) a uniquely defined/developed mathematical description for each surface within arbitrary multi-layer tapered radomes, (2) an 'ideal' taper function concept for obtaining optimum BSE prediction performance, (3) a generalized technique for calculating specular reflection points within the radome, and 4) the total retractive effects along ray propagation paths. Computer model results were compared with limiting case data (BSE = 0 deg), published experimental data, and production system acceptance test data. For all limiting cases, 'system' modeling error was less than .06 mRad. 'Excellent' (BSE within ± 1 mRad) results were obtained using a hemispheric radome with a displaced aperture gimbal point; predicted BSE values were within ±1 mRad of published experimental data. Likewise, BSE predictions for the production system were within ±0.5 mRad of measured data over a 30° scan range. Ray refractive effects on BSE prediction were characterized using the validated model.

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