Broadband Radar - What Is It?

I was reading a post over on Panbo on [I][B]Broadband Radar[/B][/I] and I was curious… what exactly is it?

The article states:

It’s delivering a clean target plot of the piling less than 30’ from the 18" scanner dome! I saw this sort of extraordinary near-range performance all over Biscayne Bay yesterday. The little scanner easily resolved a quarter mile string of channel pilings like this one, and all the boats using the channel, and it separated a 40’ sailboat close to a low shore over a half mile away. And that was all in complete auto mode; with a little tweaking we could sometimes see crab pot buoys like the one lower left in the photo, or gulls sitting on calm water.

…which sounds interesting but, another question is, is it used on any commercial ships?

…which sounds interesting but, another question is, is it used on any commercial ships?[/quote]

[B][I]Scary… sounds like new [U]recreational[/U] wave… until a kid throws some Doritos into the wind and you pick up a 1,345 seagulls :D[/I][/B]

[B][I]article reads, to me, that it is not “beta” anymore, but is dated feb '09. John, you think we would have heard more by now? [/I][/B]

[B][I]I’m not knocking, I just don’t see the application, Plus I hate the term “overlay” since there is so much room for error, I could type on and on. I’m with you, very intrested if there is anything commercial about them. Imagine some (most) rec’s keeping things calibrated with such super accuracy, they could actually view the piling they ran into while trying to interperate. :cool: [/I][/B]

[B][I]Reminds me of a quiet day fishning one the bay once, my buddy kept messing with the “fish finder” and I told him " Ok, I’ll catch this fish, and you can tell me where I cought it" lol[/I][/B]


[QUOTE=NAUTICART;23860]Imagine some (most) rec’s keeping things calibrated with such super accuracy, they could actually view the piling they ran into while trying to interperate. :cool: [/QUOTE]

NAUTICART , I think you’re giving the average boater too much credit.

[B][I]ahhhh not here to dist anyone, just didn’t type out the way I wanted/will admit to…lol Oh, and If you “quote” me I can’t go back and edit. :D[/I][/B]

I had recently heard a rumor about a new RADAR technology - this must be it. My local ENAV expert says that it isn’t on any commercial vessels yet, but will be soon.

Here’s a great pdf that explains how the technology differs from traditional RADAR. See page 4 for an explanation on how it works.

  • Jill

Here’s how it works:


Nice! It’s a short range gizmo, we’ll still need our “old” pulse RADARs for the long range stuff:

“Broadband Radar is ideal for
[FONT=Akzidenz Grotesk BQ,Akzidenz Grotesk BQ][SIZE=1]• Close range operation in tight quarters with an unmatched full screen radar scale of 200’
• Precise navigation and collision avoidance situations up to 3nm
• All weather clutter rejection
• Natural sea clutter rejection
• Easy installation
• Maximum safety and situational awareness”

[quote=Capt. Fran;23947]Here’s how it works:


Isn’t that how all radars work? :slight_smile:

The answer basically is yes. Broadband Radar, or as it is often referred to commercially, Solid State Radar, is basically magnetronless radar.

Something I found from 2008:

Magnetron based technology is very old and dirty to the frequency spectrum, it uses huge amounts of bandwidth and to a certain extent needs cleaning up. The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has recognized this and allowed “new technology” to be used in the S-Band frequency spectrum allocation for marine radar – for example JRC’s SS Radar, Kelvin Hughes Sharp-Eye. This new technology is solid-state based and uses much less frequency spectrum for the transmission.

In addition it has to be recognized that a “marine frequency” is used in a marine environment - not a land use, therefore the mobile phone industry has made application to the ITU for the use of mobile phones to use part of the S-Band frequency marine allocation frequency as there are lots of areas of the World that are not considered marine that have populations wanting more and more mobile phone technology with ever increasing frequency useage, for example, large areas in USA, Asia and Europe.

In Europe, the UK has from 2010 indicated that they will introduce “Spectrum pricing” where users of frequency spectrum will pay for the use of the Spectrum. One of the frequencies they are looking at is mobile phones and the S-Band frequency. Estimates are that mobile phone industry will be willing to pay about $450 Million per year for licenses to use the frequency and that will be the thin end of the wedge as Governments around the World need more income from taxes and this is the invisible tax of frequency . No upkeep by Government and the money rolls in. So it is probably not a case of “if” but “when” - providing the UK Government scheme goes according to expectations.

For the marine industry, the ITU introduced new frequency spectrum in band and out of band emission levels as a recommendation about five years ago, for both X-Band and S-Band so manufacturers have been working around the World and all probably meet the requirements without too many difficulties. Commercial vessel size equipment is as not difficult to comply with, but small/pleasure craft radars are a bit more difficult, due to size of equipment and economic pricing issues.

X-Band is not seen to be needing to be modified to new technology radar at present, due to the fact that magnetron technology is needed for performance monitors, RACONS, SARTS (GMDSS) and other navigational aids, and the IMO requirement for at least one X-band radar to be on SOLAS vessels whereas an S-band radar installation is an option. It is difficult to see any great changes to radars in at least the next 20 years due to time/efforts necessary to change ITU rules, requirements and recommendations so no need to worry that radar will disappear.

[QUOTE=Capt. Fran;23947]Here’s how it works:


I thought for sure it was the electronic fairies that made it work, but maybe that’s only for GPS and other gizmos? :smiley:

I should finish what I started and say that one of the companies mentioned does have an X-Band SS radar for marine and land use, although it may be prohibitively expensive for shipping companies for now. There may also be type approval issues if it can not activate a RACON or SART.

I guess the new AIS SARTS will eventually address that portion of the GMDSS requirement?

[QUOTE=Old Bakelite;24975]The answer basically is yes. Broadband Radar, or as it is often referred to commercially, Solid State Radar, is basically magnetronless radar.[/QUOTE]

Ahh… now I am beginning to understand!

The first one I saw was on a sailboat. It only ‘saw’ an arc of about 50 o on either side of dead ahead. BUT was amazing in clarity and definition. I see that now they have full 360o sweeps. However this still uses LCD screens, and is very finnicky to tune and keep clear.

My only concern is the reference to Simrad. It seems to be compatible to simrad displays. My past experience with Simrad is to walk the other way as fast as you can. Maybe this new technology will get better, but for now Ill stick with my trusty Furuno.

When the tugs become inspected this will not (yet) be IMO approved. So in all likelyhood it will not be allowed on commercial vessels. But that is a whole other topic to be decided and worked on in the near future.

Reviving an old thread here…

Anyone use any of the newer broadband radars? Any good? Are they being used in commercial application?

Looks like most of the info out there is a ~2 years old so I’m not expecting much in the way up updates, but if anyone has personal experience with these sort of units I’d be curious to hear about it.