A Brief Introduction to Radar Modulators

At Stangenes Industries, we specialize in the design and manufacture of high-voltage systems and electromagnetic components. By combining highly knowledgeable and skilled employees with state-of-the-art technologies, we deliver solutions for a wide range of industries and applications. One of the key markets we serve is the military industry. We supply various components and systems used in international static and mobile defense systems, including radar modulators.  We are particularly experienced in upgrading systems to be form-fit and functional replacements for legacy systems.  

What Is a Radar Modulator?

In radar systems, radio frequency energy is transmitted in short pulses of 1 to 50 microseconds or more. This design ensures there is ample time between the transmission of the initial pulse and receipt of the reflected pulse for the system to distinguish between them. Since energy travels at a constant velocity, the time between the transmission of the pulse and its return as a reflection can be used to measure the distance traveled. 

The generation of these pulses requires the use of specialized modulators, which are referred to as radar modulators. These modulators produce high-power, high-voltage pulses for a transmitter tube at the time of transmission. The pulses must exhibit the proper shape and excite the transmitter tube at the proper frequency and power level to work correctly. 

Types of Radar Modulators

Radar modulators come in a variety of designs to suit different applications. The experts at Stangenes offer three modulator configurations and combinations, including: 

Solid-State Marx Modulators

The most agile Stangenes modulators feature our patented solid-state Marx designs with or without a coupled pulse transformer. These systems feature command charged switching power supplies.  The modulator and the power supplies are air-insulated.  The only oil in our systems is in the pulse transformer or klystron tank in the case without a pulse transformer.  They provide dynamic pulse width and pulse repetition rate control in radar klystron applications. Key features include capacities for up to 130 kV pulses, pulse widths ranging from 2 μs to greater than 3 ms, pulse current of greater than 80 A, and average pulse power up to 130 kW. They can be operated in continuous mode with dynamically changing pulse widths and pulse rates without sacrificing voltage stability (maintained at 0.2% with a duty factor up to 3.3%). Additionally, they ensure high availability with built-in redundancy and protection against load arcing.

Thyristor-Based Modulators

Thyristor-based modulators employ a pulse-forming network (PFN) to produce a short-duration pulse.  The PFN is slowly charged to the desired voltage and then discharged through a pulse transformer by the high-current thyristor switch assembly to generate the pulse for transmission. Stangenes modulators feature an air-insulated command charged switching power supply and a PFN. The pulse transformer and socket assembly tank are oil-filled. The modulator comes in one of two required three phase input voltage options, 400 Hz, 208 V or 50/60 Hz 380 V. Capabilities include supply capacities for 117 kV pulses, pulse widths up to 9 μs, pulse current of 80 A, and average pulsed power up to 25 kW.

Learn More About Radar Modulators From the Experts at Stangenes

Radar modulators are critical to the operation of radar systems. Want to learn more about these components? Ask the experts at Stangenes! Over the years, we developed a reputation as a leader in radar modulator technology. Our groundbreaking developments, such as high-power dynamically flexible pulse width radar modulators and ground-based radar modulators upgraded to a solid-state design, have helped pushed the industry forward. Contact us today for any questions or concerns you may have about these technologies. If you’re looking for radar modulators, request a quote.

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