Wärtsilä’s world-first high resolution K‑band radar for congested waters

Malcolm Latarche

Malcolm Latarche · 10 April 2019

ShipInsight


A new K-band high resolution radar – claimed as the world’s first commercially available – has been launched by Wärtsilä.

By detecting far smaller objects and at a much higher radar resolution than conventional S or X-band radars, the RS24 enables small vessels and other potential hazards close to large ships to be visible. This promotes safety, especially in congested shipping lanes and busy ports. The technology has been developed by Guidance Marine, a Wärtsilä company.

The first orders for the Wärtsilä RS24 have been received and delivered, and indications are that the system will prove particularly beneficial to vessels, such as cruise ships and ferries, that make frequent port calls. The system is featured in Wärtsilä’s IntelliTug project, which combines technologies, innovations, and digital solutions to develop a tug with autonomous navigation. The concept is aimed at having a vessel capable of performing a range of routine missions designed to further improve operational safety and efficiencies for tugs.

The RS24 radar will provide the highest possible resolution images in the vicinity of vessels, in areas where conventional radars cannot penetrate, while at the same time increasing situational awareness. The radar images will be integrated with the onboard Wärtsilä Nacos navigational system for complete coverage.

“This ground-breaking development offers unparalleled close-range fidelity, providing a level of situational awareness that is unprecedented in ship radars. It is a major breakthrough for the marine industry, and is further evidence of Wärtsilä’s success in developing technologies in line with its Smart Marine initiative, aimed at delivering greater efficiencies, improved safety, and better environmental performance for its maritime customers,” said Dr. Sasha Heriot, Business Development Manager, Guidance Marine.

The RS24 radar will be installed on two cruise ships during the first quarter of 2019. Trials are also being carried out utilising the RS24 for wave detection purposes. If successful, this will have significant implications for the future of passenger comfort.

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