Ask SAIL: Better Radar, Less Power

Author:
Updated:
Original:
Do believe the hype: today’s radars really do require less power to achieve better resolution

Do believe the hype: today’s radars really do require less power to achieve better resolution

Q: My new television is ultra-high definition, and I now see at boat shows that marine radars also offer UHD options, with dramatically fewer transmit power outputs. Have you seen this new gear in operation?

D. Pritchard, Tampa, FL

GORDON WEST REPLIES

Indeed, the newer breed of marine high-definition radars—many with color displays—can reveal targets that even a slightly older radar might miss. In operation, transmitted bursts of digitized radar pulses may be frequency modulated with weak echoes synchronized by the radar’s digital receiver. This relatively new technology, in turn, lowers peak pulse power levels and drops DC current consumption. Where once you needed a 3.5ft open array, you may now get nearly equal resolution with just a 24in radome that won’t foul any loose rigging. Yes, the new breed of digital pulse radars offers an unbelievable resolution, with less DC power consumption.

Got a question for our experts? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com

September 2016

Related

Moored-at-Molinere-Point_©-Michaela-Urban

Cruising: Exploring Grenada

For years, I’d been wanting to visit Grenada. There are many things that fascinated me about this island: its rugged, mountainous interior, its rainforests and waterfalls, and the fact that it’s less traveled than some other Caribbean sailing destinations. My photographer ...read more

Lead

The Importance of Shore Support on Passage

Much has been said and written about preparing your vessel for an offshore passage, but few think about the importance of having good shoreside support set up before heading out to sea. Almost all offshore racing teams have sophisticated onshore support teams providing them with ...read more

191203_JR_AUCKWORLDS_359559_5434

Racing: the Olympic Gold Standard

If there was a moment that gave the US Sailing Team hope to break a major Olympic medal dry spell, it was the first day of the 49er FX worlds in New Zealand last December. Paris Henken and Anna Tobias had a rough 18th in race one, then banged out two bullets and a fifth to lead ...read more

noaa

A Farewell to Paper Charts

It’s goodbye to the paper chart, at least those produced by NOAA. The agency’s Office of Coast Survey is soliciting comments on plans to completely phase out the production of paper charts and associated products within five years. Its tighter focus on ENCs (electronic ...read more

shutterstock_538143214-2048x

A Round Trip Panama Canal Transit

Our driver, Dracula, has a thick slack body, and his head leans heavily to the right. One eye wanders and looks only up and left. The other is covered with an opaque membrane. His ungainly body is covered with a loose, soiled shirt and pants. It is a hot day in March 2007, and ...read more

outremer_LEAD

Patrick Le Quement and Multihull Design

If you Google the name Patrick Le Quément you’ll come up with some 194,000 hits, most attesting to the Frenchman’s long and successful career designing automobiles. Ford’s iconic (in Britain) Sierra? That’s one of his—at first nicknamed “the jellymold” by detractors, it went on ...read more

Bali

Boat Review: Bali 5.4

In the few years since the Bali brand appeared as an offshoot of the Catana line of catamarans, it has grown rapidly. The original models are popular bareboat charter vessels in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, and the new Bali 5.4, the largest of the line, moves the company ...read more