Raytheon Anschütz has designed patented radar video merging (RVM) technology and unveiled a new type of electronic chart display and information system (ECDIS)
Its RVM enables further radars to be added in the same frequency range on a ship to minimise lost images when ship structures block the signal. Superstructures on modern vessels such as cranes, helicopter pads, passenger areas or masts and funnels can create blind spots when using conventional navigation radar.
This is a key reason for installing a radar antenna with unobstructed 360° visualisation and where that is not possible, additional radar can be installed.
Raytheon’s RVM combines the radars’ views to create one display with a 360° view.
Raytheon Anschütz product manager Jan Lütt said this goes beyond other RVM systems. “Conventional RVM solutions just cut the radars’ videos and put them together again,” he said. “But this approach has considerable disadvantages with regard to clutter removal and, in particular, seamless target tracking between two different radars becomes a huge challenge, far beyond pure geometrical issues,” Mr Lütt explained.
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 includes radar sensors with antennas rotating at different speeds.
Radar video streams are merged on the server, using a consistent common reference point provided by the Radar NX software and performing an enhanced paraxial error correction and pulse synchronisation. The corrected radar video is integrated into a virtual radar transceiver and is available within the entire navigation network.
“With the RVM technology we deliver a true seamless 360° radar picture,” Mr 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,” he continued.
Typical applications for the RVM technology are crane vessels, cruise ships and ferries, offshore supply vessels for hydrocarbon and renewable energy, mega-yachts and naval ships.
Raytheon Anschütz also developed a compact ECDIS ready for deliveries in January 2021. ECDIS NX Compact is a preconfigured navigation aid within a 24-inch panel computer, with software to make installation and operation easier and safer.
It is optimised for newbuildings and vessel retrofits as the panel computer has interfaces for Ethernet and IEC 61161-1 (National Marine Electronics Association) devices.
Raytheon Anschütz product manager Björn Schröder said this is the company’s first plug-and-play ECDIS. All of the mandatory functions are available at a single touch or through wizard-guided workflows, simplifying daily tasks for navigators.
“Customers receive all typical ECDIS functions with this system,” said Mr Schröder, “and beyond this we offer a growing scope of modular features and ongoing compliance with future ECDIS standards.”
ECDIS NX Compact replaces existing installations of Raytheon’s predecessor ECDIS24.
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