Beam Width

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Beam Width

A measure of the concentration of power of a directional antenna. It is the angle in degrees subtended at the antenna by arbitrary power-level points across the axis of the beam. This power level is usually the point where the power density is one-half that which is present in the axis of the beam at the same distance from the antenna (half-power points). Also called beam angle .
The beam width of a radar determines the minimum angular separation which two targets can have and still be resolved. Roughly speaking, two targets at the same range whose angular separations at the radar antenna exceeds one-half of the beam width between half-power points will be resolved or distinguishable as two individual targets. The smaller the beam width, the greater the annular resolving power. Beam width may be at different locations through the axis depending upon the shape of the antenna reflector.


This article is based on NASA's Dictionary of Technical Terms for Aerospace Use