Radar video merge provides the full picture
Conventional navigation radars seem the obvious solution, but superstructures on modern vessels like cranes, helicopter pads, passenger areas or masts and funnels can often create blind spots. This is the main reason why higher importance is placed today on requiring unobstructed 360-degree radar views.
Raytheon Anschütz, a business of Raytheon Technologies, has designed a new, patented radar video merging (RVM) technology that outperforms existing solutions for RVM aboard ships. In general, the technology makes it possible to add further navigation radars in the same frequency range and to combine the radars’ views to create a one-display, 360-degree view.
“In simple words, the conventional RVM solutions that are known today just cut the radars’ videos and put them together again,” said Jan Lütt, product manager at Raytheon Anschütz. “But this approach has considerable disadvantages with regard to clutter removal and, in particular, a seamless target tracking between two different radars becomes a huge challenge, far beyond pure geometrical issues.”
When designing the new RVM technology, Raytheon Anschütz used the network radar structure, where all the raw radar videos are distributed between the radar sensors and a radar server. This also includes radar sensors with antennas at different speeds. On the server, the radar video streams merge, using a consistent common reference point provided by the Radar NX software and performing an enhanced paraxial error correction and a synchronization of pulses.
The newly created, corrected radar video is integrated into a virtual radar transceiver. The new radar video is made available in the entire navigation network, and can be delivered from bow to aft and vice versa. Radar NX applications in the network can select this virtual unit as a transceiver as required. “With the RVM technology we deliver a true seamless, 360-degree radar picture,” Lütt said.
“And the benefit can be multiplied, as our advanced filter technologies like anti-clutter and our high-performance tracking algorithms are performed upon this virtual radar video. This results in the best navigational radar video available today for safe navigation under any conditions.” Typical applications for the RVM technology are crane vessels, cruise ships and ferries, offshore supply vessels, wind energy vessels, mega yachts, warships and a number of other vessel types.