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Radio frequency (RF) rotary joints are electro-mechanical devices that provide crucial interfaces between stationary and rotating sections of radar and other rotating systems. This interface allows signals to be transmitted back and forth between an antenna and ground components with little or no distortion. RF rotary joints are available for a wide range of frequencies. They are essential devices which facilitate the supply of power and the transmission of electrical signals from DC to high frequency. RF rotary joints also have the ability to pass signals with minimal degradation. These devices can be as simple as one channel at approximately one-inch long, or as complicated as seventy-three channels at sixteen-feet long.

Specifications and Features

RF rotary joints differ in terms of specifications and features. RF rotary joints can be made of copper, bronze, aluminum, stainless steel, specialty steels, silver, and specially clad or bi-metallic alloys. Important specifications for RF rotary joints include size, length, wall thickness, flange size, type and style, and voltage standing wave ratio (VSWR). RF rotary joints are resistant to water or the ingress of dust and may have ceramic ball bearings. Modification options are available for RF rotary joints including water submersion, high pressure, miniature systems, high revolutions per minute (RPM), multi-fiber cables, and broad spectral ranges. RF rotary joints have a maximum insertion loss of two decibels (dB), with a return loss of more than forty-five dB.

Applications

RF rotary joints are used in many industries. These industries include communication, microwaves, satellite, security, defense, aerospace, and the medicine. RF rotary joints can also be used in commercial and military applications. These types of rotary joints are used in transitions, twistable flexible cables that bend and twist, high and low power terminations, and custom assemblies. RF rotary joints are also used for specific applications such as air traffic control, airborne systems, shipboard systems, ground based radar, and vehicle mounting. Additional applications for RF rotary joints are image transmission, telecommunication control data transmission, and high speed networking. RF rotary joints may adhere to standards such as U.S. military specifications MIL-W-85 and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) IEC 6015. Additional standards for RF rotary joints may also be applicable.

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