Radar at sea or ashore is an important tool to ensure safety and efficiency of maritime traffic and to help to protect the marine environment. As yet, there is no other equipment available, which just by its own capabilities detects targets at sea and continuously provides their position course and speed.

The performance of Radar is determined by a multitude of technical parameters dependent on the design of the radar antenna and the radar transmitter/receiver, by geometric parameters determining the radar line-of-sight, by environmental parameters, such as rain, sea state, ducting conditions and, finally, by the reflection properties of the radar target.

These pages shall provide some insight into the parameters on which the range of a radar system is dependent. In the subsequent pages you will find:

  • BLANKET, an algorithm to calculate radar ‘free-space range,
  • ANTCALC, a calculator to determine from the dimension of the radar antena its main parameters.
  • RCS, all about Radar Cross Section of ships
  • HORCALC, a calculator to determine the radar horizon and the target visibility range

Ingo Harre, Bremen, Germany, Content last modified on 2009/04/25