A new kind of radar?

I received an email suggesting I check out a new radar technology, called “Broadband Radar”, that will be coming onto the market soon. It was developed by Navico, and will be appearing this year in radars produced by their Simrad, Lowrance and Northstar brands.

Broadband Radar claims:

– Instant on (as compared to normal radar that takes 2-3 minutes to power up)
– Five times the sea clutter rejection
– No harmful radiation
– Transmits at less than 1/20,000th the power of conventional radar. Much less power usage overall.
– Superior target definition and target seperation

Press release:


My primary interest is if this could be used to supplement my existing radar, primarily focused on short-range object detection. As we travel through the Pacific NW and Alaska, there are plenty of logs, crab pots, and fishing nets. I’m very interested in anything that improves my chances of spotting them.

Apparently the first units won’t be available until April, which is too late for my boat. I’ll email the company and see if test units are available….

-Ken W

5 Responses

  1. Sam: Yes — as you suggested, I am envisioning this as something supplemental to my existing radars.

    Normally, I leave on radar on 12 mile (or longer) range and one on 3 mile (or less) range.

    If I get a broadband radar, I’ll match it against my existing radars for short-range object detection. My guess is that there will be times it is better, and times it is worse, depending on sea condition, and weather. I’d toggle back and forth between all three radars at times – for instance when in a squall, and then leave active the two radars that seem to be giving me the most information.

    I hope this is as good as its advance buzz!

    -Ken W

  2. Thanks Milt .. When I was researching this radar I found the articles on Panbo. A great site! I need to add it to my daily reading list.

    -Ken W

  3. If you have not yet discovered Ben Ellison’s Panbo website (http://www.panbo.com (http://www.panbo.com) ), Ken, by all means check it out. Ben is a most knowledgeable writer on marine electronics matters, and from all I can see he’s an honest broker on this stuff–not some shill for the electronics industry. Panbo was the first to tell me about the new radar you mention here, and it really knocked Ben’s socks off–especially the target discrimination. I think we’ll be seeing a lot of this kind of radar in our future–it seems to be all plusses.

    –Milt Baker

  4. I’ve read a lot about this radar and it could well replace my Raymarine radome when it comes out. I don’t really see it as a replacement for either of your high powered, open array antennas but it could certainly be used in addition to them. I see particular value in using it for close range applications and also for reducing power consumption at anchor if you like to set a radar alarm. I don’t think the reduction in radiation would matter since you aren’t standing near the antenna and the startup times are probably a non issue since you can easily have both of your radars running by the time you leave the dock. I know mine is always on standby, no matter what the conditions. If nobody is on deck, I have it operating at all times, if for no reason other than to be familiar with it for when I am in limited visibility conditions.


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