Simrad Yachting this week announced a significant upgrade to its “”broadband” radar capability with the “Broadband 3G Radar,” which increases the range of its not-so-old BR24 Broadband Radar. I wrote about the BR24 when it was demonstrated at the Miami show last year and decided it was the real deal for short-range, high-definition radar detection. At the time I thought it would make the perfect second radar unit for a typical trawler owner, who would probably have a high-power, open-array unit for long-range detection and surveillance.
As you can see in the photo above, at a 6 NM range, the new Broadband 3G has much better detection but appears to maintain the same level of high-definition target discrimination, compared side-by-side with the “old” BR24. Although the folks who develop and program this technology really could be rocket scientists, the latest improvements derive mostly from a doubled RF transmit power. You might recall that one of the really nice features of the BR24 was its incredibly low RF output, which meant that antenna placement wasn’t really critical anymore in terms of radiation safety. Well, upping the power by a factor of two for the Broadband 3G really doesn’t change that; it’s still less than 1/10th the energy of a mobile phone, and 1/20,000th the energy of a traditional pulse radar.
Another really cool feature of this FMCW (Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave) radar is it’s incredible near-field detection capability. Objects as close as 2 meters can be detected and displayed. Ben Ellison noted that a demonstration unit he saw at a Navico press event last month clearly displayed someone walking toward the bow of the boat he was on.
Simrad Yachting says the unit will have a suggested retail price of $1,699 when it is available in June from authorized dealers and distributors in the United States and Canada. And here is a copy of the press release issued this week.
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