beam width


beam width
The full angular interval in the horizontal plane between the points at which the power radiated from the antenna has fallen to half its maximum value. In practice, the effective beam width may be less than this value and may be altered by use of gain control. The beam width of radar is a measure of its discrimination (i.e., it determines the minimum angular separation that two targets can have and still be resolved). Two targets at the same range whose angular separations at the radar antenna exceed one-half of the beam width between half-power points, generally, 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.
The beam width of an antenna is the angle in degrees between the half-power points in the azimuth plane.

Aviation dictionary. 2014.

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