Marine radar is an essential tool for every onboard ship to navigate safely. The radar enables the ship to detect, track and position targets as it navigates from one point to another.
Radar system can be used in a variety of ways and the list below explains the uses of radar technology in the marine industry.
1. Tracking: The radar can track the movement of an identified object within its range and how fast it is moving.
2. Measure distance: Using Doppler frequency helps to determine the range and bearing of the incoming object. This information is used to determine its speed and course of incoming target.
3. Vessel navigation: The radar system navigates its own vessel and the course it is taking. The radar screen display information about targets and also own vessel and this information can be used to aid in navigation.
4. Positioning: The radar system position the ship using terrestrial objects like lighthouses, buoys and navigational marks which help in the navigation and collision avoidance.
5. Determine course: Radar use high frequency radio waves to help the sailor maneuver the ship in bad weather terrain, at night or where there is a thick fog. The radar will ensure the ship navigates safely and avoids collision
6. Weather forecasting: The radar system forecast the weather patterns when moving along the ocean. Doppler radar can detect how fast a storm is moving and specific time it is likely to hit them.
7. Detect objects: Radar antennae mounted on a ship can be able to detect an approaching ship, airplane or missiles and provide early warning to the ship captain.
8. Pollution: Scientist use LIDAR system to determine water pollution. They point it down to study its components and the extent of water pollution.
9. Sonar navigation: When navigating through deep oceans or underwater, submarines use SONAR (Sound Navigation and Ranging) system which uses sound to detect objects instead of relying on radio waves. The radar system is only used when moving around the ocean surface.
10. Integration: Radar is integrated with other marine instruments such as the ECDIS in order to provide precise information to the sailors.
11. Differentiation: they not only detect moving objects but also be able to differentiate the different targets when navigating through a high traffic density area.
12. Parallel Indexing: This is a technique used by submarines to ensure safety when navigating from a shoreline or rock. It helps in monitoring the ship progress and minimize cross track distance.
13. Coastal traffic: Ships use VTS to control coastal traffic. The VTS (Vessel traffic service) is a traffic monitoring system used to keep track of the ships movements and ensure safe navigation in a small geographical area.
14. Ease workload: The radar should help the Officer on Watch (OOW) make independent decisions on smooth passage of the ship. While on the bridge, he should closely monitor the ships navigation and report to the captain in case of any ship danger or after identifying a target.
15. Cut cost: Marine radars helps the owner to reduce the cost of power and electricity. They not only user friendly but also help in regulating the consumption of power.
16. AIS reporting: Automatic identification system (AIS) should provide additional information to radars and reduce the OOA work by automatically providing information to coastal stations on the traffic.
17. X-band and S-band: The X-band in marine radars is used to provide sharper images and better resolution for better watch by the OOW whereas the S-band ensures the ship navigates safely in rain or on fog.
18. Early warning: radar positioning is used to provide information on CPA (closest point of approach) and TCPA (time of closest point of approach) on other ships. It can also indicate the bearings of the target.
19. Control: It has controls which enable you to adjust the brightness and contrast of displayed images on the screen.
20. Sea state: The radar system is used to measure the height of waves in the sea and determine safety. It can also be used to measure the rise of sea water a factor contributed by global warming.