A new service covering refurbishment of the large, rotating microwave joints that form an essential part of S-band radar systems, has been introduced by Link Microtek , which are commonly used in air-traffic control and shipborne applications.
These continuously rotating multi-channel joints typically require refurbishment every three to five years in order to keep their performance within specification. This is especially important for shipborne radars, which are exposed to the hostile marine environment for long periods of time.
Complex in design, the joints normally incorporate a waveguide channel for high-power transmissions, together with multiple coaxial channels for S-band and L-band transmissions. The overall length of the rotating joint depends on the number of channels but is usually in excess of a metre.
The refurbishment process involves complete dismantlement of the rotating joint, replacement of coaxial connectors and contacting parts such as bearings and slip-rings, thorough cleaning of other parts, reassembly, extended testing on a custom-built test rig and repainting of the finished unit.