Errors of Marine Radar

Errors of Marine Radar

1. Index error: This is the difference between the actual range between two points on a map and the range detected by the radar. This error can be observed when the vessels seat abeam between two points.

2. Beamwidth error: When the radar beam from the vessels moves away from the vessel, the width of the beam tends to widen. This causes distortion of the objects being detected. This distortion error increases as the vessel moves further away from the vessel.

3. Attenuation error: Attenuation is caused by the absorption and subsequent scattering of the beam energy as it is transferred through the atmosphere. This usually leads to a significant reduction in the strength of the echo. Attenuation is more pronounced in instances where there are a high frequency and short wavelengths.

4. Double echoes: These happen when the radar signals bounce off some parts of the ship and back into the receiver.

5. Multiple echoes: Multiple echoes occur as a result of several reverberations of the echoes from a different ship and from own ship multiple times. The display screen may show more than two or three objects being detected.

Radar (1)

6. Indirect wave error: When a radar beam is emitted from the vessel, it is supposed to travel in a straight line directly to the contact. However, there are instances where the beam falls into the sea and it is deflected further which makes it travel a longer distance than if it would have travelled in a straight line.

7. Clutter: Radar signals are affected by clutter especially from the sea and those caused by rainfall. This is why clutter controls are provided. However, the clutter controls need to be used with great caution because they may end up suppressing weaker objects that are navigating within the clutter zone.

8. Blind/Shadow sectors: The structure of the ship and sometimes the objects on the ship may cause blindness or shadow sectors on the ship. For this reason, it is important to properly mark the shadow or blind sectors in order to let other users understand the limitations of these sectors.


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