The Materials Advancing 5G Antenna Frequency Range
According to GlobalData, 5G connectivity has grown rapidly since being introduced in 2019 and reached an estimated 1.1 billion connections in 2022. Advances in radome technology are essential to ensuring 5G can deliver its promise of rapid data and insight-driven decision making.
Why Radomes are Crucial
Radomes are integral to optimizing the performance of 5G antennas by protecting them from environmental factors, minimizing interference, and ensuring a consistent and stable signal propagation environment. Their role in enhancing range, coverage, and signal quality makes them a valuable component in 5G network deployments.
5G antennas are of paramount importance in the deployment and functioning of 5G networks. They play a central role in enabling the high-speed, low-latency, and massive connectivity capabilities that define the 5G technology. Radomes play a key role in ensuring connectivity success.
Radomes should be made from materials that are transparent to the radio frequencies used in 5G communication. These materials allow electromagnetic signals to pass through with minimal attenuation, ensuring antenna signal strength remains high.
Radomes should also be constructed from materials resistant to environmental factors such as UV radiation, temperature fluctuations, moisture, and pollutants. Durability ensures that the radome maintains its transparency and structural integrity over time.
Under the umbrella of durability are:
Mechanical Stability: Radomes should be mechanically stable to withstand mechanical shocks, vibrations, and impacts. Stability ensures that the radome protects the antenna components effectively without becoming damaged itself.
RF Shielding: Radomes should provide shielding against external electromagnetic interference to prevent interference from nearby electronic devices or structures.
Thermal Performance: Radomes should have good thermal insulation properties to protect the antenna from temperature extremes and prevent the formation of condensation that can impact signal performance.
Protection from water: SHEERGARD® self-cleaning, hydrophobic material that repels water, mold, and mildew, keeping the shroud virtually maintenance-free. Preventing water accumulation and water sheeting across the surface is vital to maximizing 5G coverage. Surface water significantly degrades signal strength, so it is key to minimize its effect through proper material selection.
Easy Maintenance: Radomes should be designed for easy cleaning and maintenance to ensure that accumulated dirt, debris, or pollutants do not obstruct signal transmission.
SHEERGARD® shrouds unzip easily to provide 360° access to the interior, making it fast and cost-efficient to add and upgrade equipment. A proprietary, controlled air-flow system enables optimal equipment operation at all times.
UV Resistance: UV resistance is crucial to prevent yellowing, degradation, or loss of transparency due to prolonged exposure to sunlight
To minimize signal loss a radome needs to strike a balance between the structural and electrical requirements. The dielectric constant of the radome material should be as close as possible to that of free space (approximately 1.0), minimizing signal reflections and refractions that can degrade signal quality.
By selecting radomes with these characteristics, network operators and manufacturers can ensure that 5G antennas perform optimally, offering extended range, improved coverage, and reliable connectivity in diverse environmental conditions.
SHEERGARD® 5G mmWave shrouds provide complete environmental protection with the lowest possible transmission loss across frequencies up to 100GHz. Our structural fabrics are band agnostic and have been qualified by decades of use in the most extreme environments around the world to provide best-in-class performance at all times for systems at all frequencies.
With a carefully designed Kevlar® weave and fluoropolymer surface, SHEERGARD® solutions are permanently hydrophobic actively preventing water accumulation, and dissipating heat quickly due to their low thermal conductivity, easing the strain of complex cooling systems.