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A necessary aid to nautical navigation, the marine radar is a device used to identify, track, and position objects in relation to your current location. Similar to the echo sounders, marine radars work by transmitting radio signals, and when these waves hit an object, it gets reflected back to the radar. This information is then put in the form of visual data on a screen, giving boaters bearing and distance data for collision avoidance and navigation while on water.
Marine Radar: Top Features to Consider
When buying a marine radar system, it’s worth to take note of its two most fundamental features: the transmitter power and beam angle. Transmitter power is crucial in defining how well the radar performs, especially during bad weather. They’re typically classified under two categories: the x-band (10GHz) or S-band (3GHz) frequencies. The higher the power, the better the transmitter can see through dense fog and rain. Between the two types, the x-band can conjure a sharper image and better resolution even in challenging weather conditions.
The beam angle is determined by the size of the radar antenna. This antenna is used to direct the beam angle to an optimal position so as to attain an accurate level measurement reading. A long antenna emits a narrower beam that can better discriminate between objects positioned close together. Shorter antennas, on the other hand, produce a wider beam angle and are thus more forgiving when false echoes produced by the internal structure of a ship cannot be avoided.