Radome Verification System (RAVS) for the MC-130H
Combat Talon II, USAF Special Operations Command,
Robins AFB, Georgia


RAVS was designed to measure the Special Operations Forces' MC-130H Combat Talon II aircraft's nose radome.

The measurement system consists of a 75ft long by 40ft wide by 30ft high shielded anechoic chamber that houses a Scientific-Atlanta compact range, Orbit/FR 11-axis test positioner, and Agilent instrumentation.

RAVS is capable of performing automated data acquisition, analysis and performance report generation for:

  • Transmission Efficiency and Reflected Power
  • Beam Deflection
  • Sidelobe Increase
  • Mainlobe Pattern Distortion and Axial Ratio

Technical papers:

pdf  "System Design of a Compact Range Verification Facility for a Large Multi-Band Radome," paper presented at AMTA 2000

pdf  "A Broadband, Polarization Selectable Feed for Compact Range Applications" paper presented at AMTA 1999

The Howland Company:

  • Established chamber size and performance criteria
  • Developed the basic electromagnetic design
  • Designed the EMI shielding and performed shielding acceptance tests
  • Developed & validated radome mounting and handling procedures
  • Reviewed specifications for conformance with USAF requirements
  • Supported the general contractor during construction of the host building
  • Performed Systems Engineering and Integration
  • Designed and built the multi-polarization broadband feed network
  • Performed range Quiet Zone field probing
  • Developed USAF Technical Order and System Safety, Human Engineering, and Training Program plans and reports
  • Developed Acceptance Test Plan and Procedure documents and participated in acceptance testing
RAVS compact range field probe 1 RAVS compact range field probe 2

Compact Range Field Probe Measurements

  A USAF maintainer opening the MC-130H nose radome for access to the APQ-170 radar MC-130H nose radome in RAVS

The Combat Talon II nose radome--on the aircraft, and being tested in RAVS. The MC-130H nose radome is one of the largest radomes in the USAF inventory, and a test & measurement challenge.

Brian Kirchhefer prepares to test a Combat Talon II radome in the ... Radome Verification System range.  
USAF photo by Sue Sapp   Video by WR-ALC/MAI
RAVS is one of the antenna and radome test ranges operated and maintained by the skilled
engineers and technicians of the 566th Electronics Maintenance Squadron (WR-ALC 566/EMXS) at Robins AFB.

Above right: "Brian Kirchhefer prepares to test a Combat Talon II radome in the ... Radome Verification System range."
Above left: Click the image to see a video WR-ALC/MAI (predecessor to 566/EMXS) produced of the RAVS
compact range reflector and the radome/antenna positioner.
Below: This shot, of an MC-130H being prepared for environmental tests at Eglin AFB, highlights
the size of the CW-1226/APQ-170(V) nose radome.
MC-130H Combat Talon II being prepared for high-temperature environmental testing at Eglin AFB. The Combat Talon II's nose radome, housing the AN/APQ-170 multi-mode radar, is one of the largest airborne radomes in the USAF fleet.
    U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Julianne Showalter