The FGAN Research Institute for High Frequency Physics and Radar Techniques (FHR) located in Wachtberg, German is the home of the “Kugel”, the world´s largest radome, which protects and houses TIRA, a space observation radar.
The TIRA system serves as an experimental facility for development and investigation of radar techniques for detection and recon of objects in space. Space agencies the world over use the data collecting and analytical capabilities of this system.
Once covered by a 49 foot radome (the largest in the world at the time), after 50 years of weathering, it was time for a replacement.
The radome is incredibly important, as it protects and insulates the highly sensitive radar system from wind and weather. In order to replace the radome, a new one had to be constructed within before the old radome could be removed. For this reason, the newer radome is a 1 1/2 feet smaller than its predecessor, but still a world record.
After years of planning, budgeting, and preparation, the replacement of the world’s largest radome began in January of 2014, finally completing in June of 2015.