New radar allows mariners to keep a SHARPEye™



William Grant, Port Technology International, London, UK


The techniques and technologies employed in Kelvin Hughes’ new SHARPEye™ radar have their roots firmly embedded in the recent communications revolution and in over 60 years of military and civil aviation radar development.

Benefiting from Kelvin Hughes 60-year pedigree in radar design the new SHARPEye™ radar incorporates the very latest in solid state and signal processing technology to bring performance benefits, previously only possible in military or civil aviation surveillance radar systems, to commercial marine radar.

Technological development

Following the end of the Second World War the centimetric surveillance radar technology that had served the military well during the conflict was released from under a cloak of secrecy for a peacetime role as a navigational aid to commercial shipping. In this period – the late 1940s – the non-coherent magnetron was the basic source of transmitted power and the cathode ray tube the mechanism for of radar image display.

Although technology has become immensely more sophisticated, the basic requirement of military and commercial marine radar remains the same, to measure the range, bearing and other attributes of a target. However, despite this common heritage and purpose, the technologies employed in the two roles have diverged. Now, 60 years later, we are perhaps seeing the beginnings of a reversal in this trend.

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