"Section 19.3.1 of the Work boat code states in the last sentence that if the RCS (Radar Cross Section) of the vessel is greater than the radar reflector standard then carriage of the reflector is unnecessary, which is one of the strangest statements I have ever seen in an official document. Whilst acknowledging this may be the case for many large vessels it cannot be assumed to include many of the smaller possibly up to 15 metres."
John Simpson, MD, Echomax.
The RCS of a vessel is virtually impossible to ascertain or assess by a layman as it varies from beam to stern to bows on. Whilst a beam on reflection can be massive, slanting bows or sterns can have a stealth effect with a very low response. Many collisions are caused by slower vessels being run down as they have not been picked up by the radar on faster larger vessels.
Sea trials have confirmed over the years that when the passive reflector is pulled into place or the RTE (Radar Target Enhancer) switched on the target vessels radar image improves as the vessels own RCS diminishes as the distance between vessel and radar increases and at or around 5 miles the radar reflector takes over.
Active X RTE response to FMWC (Fully Mobile Wirelessly Connected) - Broadband radar
Solid state- FMWC - broadband radar use a low transmit power which has steadily increased since their introduction 10 or more years ago. In the early days the Simrad 4G used 0.165 watts transmit power which was not enough to be picked up by the Active X - XS in normal sleep mode outside a range of 200-300m. Fortunately the power increases are now sufficient to activate the Echomax Active RTE and respond as shown below for the various listed makes.
RTE test mode
If greater detection distances are required or the need felt to respond to less powerful radar then the RTE can be placed in the test mode, however the alarm facility will be lost. The test mode is obtained by reversing the wiring from the RTE to the control box of the blue/brown cables. For the Active XS the green - yellow should be left in place. Whilst in testmode the current consumed will be increased considerably i.e.XS - 345mA.
For further information on the above, or to find out more about Echomax’s extensive range of products, please contact the Echomax team.
Echomax Radar Reflectors
The only one to be seen with!