Finnish technology group Wärtsilä has launched the first commercially available K-band maritime radar to help increase safety in busy ports.
By detecting far smaller objects and at a much higher radar resolution than conventional S or X-band radars, Wärtsilä’s RS24 enables small vessels and other potential hazards close to large ships to be visible, promoting safety especially in congested shipping lanes and busy ports.
Wärtsilä says the first orders for the radar 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 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,” Wärtsilä said in a press release announcing the launch of the product.
The RS24 technology has been developed by Guidance Marine, a Wärtsilä company.
“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,” says Dr. Sasha Heriot, Business Development Manager at Guidance Marine.
The RS24 radar will be installed on two cruise ships during the first quarter of 2019. Trials are also being carried out utilizing the RS24 for wave detection purposes which, if successful, will have implications for passenger comfort.
The system is also 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.