The Radar Book
Effective Navigation and Collision Avoidance

Second Edition

By Kevin Monahan

Table of Contents


CHAPTER 1 Tuning Your Eye

The Searchlight Principle
Ranges and Range Rings
The Look of the Display
Understanding the Radar Display
Sidebar: Heading Mark
Sidebar: Head-Up Relative Motion Displays
Sidebar: The Difference Between Course Made Good and Heading
Choosing the Appropriate Range Scale
Sidebar: A Tragedy
Identifying Radar Conspicuous Objects and Features

CHAPTER 2 Early Successes

How to set up your Radar
Estimating Position Using Range Rings
Sidebar: Using Paper Charts
Variable Range Marker
Finding Position Using the Variable Range Marker
Sidebar: “Cocked Hat”
Sidebar: Using Radar Conspicuous Points for Position Fixing
Sidebar: Proper Lookout
Constant Bearing / Decreasing Range means Collision Course
Sidebar: Extracts from the ColRegs
Electronic Bearing Line
Avoiding Collisions
Sidebar: Closest Point of Approach
Sidebar: Avoiding Action
Echo Trails

CHAPTER 3 The Equipment

Radar Components
Scanner Unit
Sidebar: Frequencies
Scanner Installation
Display Unit
CRT Displays
LCD Displays
Pixels and Image Resolution
Sidebar: Analog Radars
Sidebar: Radar Safety
Knobs and Switches vs Menus and Soft Keys
Day and Night Displays
Sidebar: Reverse Colour

CHAPTER 4 Why Radar Works

Basic Principles of Radar
Principles of Reflectivity
Sidebar: Radar Reflectors
Microwave Pulses
Synchronisation of the Heading Flash
Sidebar: Analog Radars
Sidebar: Echo Strength
Radar Horizon

CHAPTER 5 Controlling and Interpreting the Display

Sidebar: Standard Control Icons
Sidebar:Anti“Sea-Clutter” Control (STC)
Sidebar: Persistence of Sea Clutter
Anti“Rain-Clutter” Control (FTC)
Pulse-length Control
Using the “Rain-Clutter” Control to Enhance Range Resolution
Offset and Zoom
Dual Pulse Radar
How Beam Width Affects Bearing Resolution
Side Lobe Echoes
December 1, 2008Sectors and Ghosts
Multiple echoes
Overhead Cable Effect
Target Aspect

CHAPTER 6 Interfacing Equipment and the Integrated Bridge

Head-up vs North-up displays
Sidebar: GPS Heading Data
Sidebar: North-up, Course-up and Head-up Modes
Connecting Equipment Together
Sidebar: National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA) 0183
Managing Multiple Windows
On-Screen Waypoint Displays
Sidebar: Radar Waypoint Display
Sidebar: Active Waypoints and “Course-up” Display Mode
Interfacing Radar with Electronic Charts
Radar Overlay Equipment
Radar Sensor (Antenna) and Computer
Stand Alone Radar and Computer
Proprietary Systems
Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems (ECDIS)

CHAPTER 7 Further Adventures in Navigation

Fixing Position using the VRM (Review)
Sidebar: Taking VRM Measurements
Sidebar: Checking the accuracy of the VRM
Fixing Position Using the EBL
Sidebar: Radar Bearing Errors
Unstabilized Radar
Stabilized and Unstabilized Radars
Fixing Position Using a Mixture of Ranges and Bearings
One range and one bearing
Two ranges and one bearing
One range and two bearings
Mixing Sounder and Sonar Information
Using the EBL to Observe Transits
Navigation and Piloting
Sidebar: Practice and Consistency
Using Transits to Determine When to Turn
Maintaining Distance Off

CHAPTER 8 Further Adventures in Blind Piloting

Parallel Indexing
Sidebar: Using an Offset EBL
Sidebar: Parallel Index Cursor
Setting up an Offset Transit
Sidebar: Using a Manual Parallel Index
Parallel Indexing—North-up
Setting up a Parallel Index
Verifying the Position of a Buoy
Verifying the Position of a Buoy—without Offset EBL
Long Range Detection
Sidebar: Approaching a Narrow Entrance
Guard Zones
The Use of Radar Overlay in Navigation and Piloting
Sidebar: Situational Awareness
Sidebar: Offset Radar Images
Sidebar: North-up or Course-up?
Raster or Vector Charts?
Raster Charts
Vector Charts
Colours and Transparency

CHAPTER 9 Further Adventures in Collision Avoidance

Steering and Sailing Rules
Sidebar: Circumferential Distortion
Sidebar: Collision Avoidance—Restricted Visibility (Rule 19)
Sidebar: The Andrea Doria
Sidebar: Rule 8—Action to Avoid Collision
Systematic Observation of Other Vessels
Sidebar: How close is too close?
Sidebar: A Eureka Bar Story
Head-up, Course-up or North-up?
Target Behaviour After an Alteration
Sidebar: Tugs at Nelson Island
Handling Multiple Targets
Switching Between Collision Avoidance and Navigation Modes
Simple Radar Plotting
Sidebar: Manual Radar Plotting
Automatic Radar Plotting Aid (ARPA)
ARPA Errors
Sidebar: ARPA Heading and Speed Input
ARPA in True Motion Mode
The Use of Collision Alarms for Offshore Sailors
The Use of Radar Overlay in Collision Avoidance

CHAPTER 10 Heavy Weather

Scanner Height
Vessel Stability
Transmitted Power
Anti-Sea Clutter Control (STC)
Large Waves
Identifying Submerged Hazards
Effective Use of Crew

CHAPTER 11 What Can Go Wrong and What You Can Do About It

Failure Modes
Protecting Yourself
Dead Reckoning
Sidebar: Placing Too Much Reliance on the Radar
Radar Should be Your Primary Tool
Maintaining Situational Awareness
Sidebar: Am I Going Crazy?
Sidebar: Total Electrical Failure
Improving Your Own Visibility
Sidebar: Radar Reflectors Work
Human Error
Safe Speed
High Speed Operation
Raster Freeze
The Effect of Heavy Precipitation
Scanner Problems
Ice on the Scanner
Heading Flash Error
Obstructions to Scanner Rotation
Heading Input Error
Zeroing Error
PC Problems
Sidebar: Memory Overload
Radar Overlay Problems
Positioning Issues
Colour Issues

Appendix A Radar Plotting

Simple Radar Plotting
Manual Radar Plotting
Trial Manoeuvre

Appendix B Technical Specifications
About the Author




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