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Radar Observers Handbook (Out Of Print)

By W. Burger

Price:
£0.00

Item attributes

ISBN:
978-0-85174-666-1
Published date:
First published 1957-Revised 9th edition 1998; Reprinted 2010

Item details

Please note: this title is now out of print. You may find our new title, Radar and AIS for Watchkeeping Officers, of interest.

 

Bibliographic Notes 

This book, first published in 1957, was originally written for the purpose of being a text book for students on the Radar Observer's Course. Gradually however, it also became a practical guide on board ships and at present one can find this handbook in many ships. In later editions the author has tried to combine the two requirements: A school text book on one side and a practical guide on the other.

It is very interesting to go through the eight editions and note how radar techniques, operations and interpretation have changed during the last 36 years and how many devices, introduced by manufacturers to facilitate the use of radar on board, have in fact been rejected by the radar operator.

 

In more detail:

This book, first published in 1957, was originally written for the purpose of being a text book for students on the Radar Observer's Course. Gradually however, it also became a practical guide on board ships and at present one can find this handbook in many ships. In later editions the author has tried to combine the two requirements: A school text book on one side and a practical guide on the other.

It is very interesting to go through the eight editions and note how radar techniques, operations and interpretation have changed during the last 36 years and how many devices, introduced by manufacturers to facilitate the use of radar on board, have in fact been rejected by the radar operator.

The chapter headings - a total of 16 - have not changed throughout these years and it is worthwhile to have them noted down and then to see how, for this eighth edition, their contents have been modified and expanded.

  • Chapter 1, Fundamental Principles of Radar, 25 pages;
  • Chapter 2, Components and their Siting, 9 pages;
  • Chapter 3, Characteristics of Set, 14 pages;
  • Chapter 4, Function and Adjustment of Controls, 43 pages;
  • Chaptes. 5, 6, 7, 8, Interpretation of Display, 42 pages;
  • Chapters 9, 10, 1 1, Use of Radar for Navigation, 41 pages;
  • Chapter 12, Radar Log, 3 pages;
  • Chapter 13, Plotting, 27 pages;
  • Chapter 14, Comments on Plotting, 10 pages;
  • Chapter 15, Plotting Devices, 27 pages;
  • Chapter 16, Use of Radar for Anti-Collision, 26 pages.

This is followed by nine Appendices: Brief Hints about Maintenance; Transmission of Signals, Logic; Function of Components of a Radar Set; Extracts from the Marine Radar Performance Specification, 1982; The Use of Radar for Navigation (M 1158); Extracts from IMO Specifications for Radar and ARPA; Military Frequency Band Designations; Guidance on Manoeuvres to Avoid Collision; Speed and Distance Table; Table giving Nearest Approach from Two Observations.

Finally there are radar plotting problems with answers and revision questions (ordinary and multi-choice) including hints where the answers can be found.

The main changes have taken place in Chapter 1 (increased from 16 to 25 pages) and Chapter 1 5 (decreased from 46 to 17 pages). The first change was due to the introduction of Scan Conversion Techniques and Raster-Scans. It altered a substantial part in the approach to Fundamental Principles. The second change was because detailed information about ARPAs of specific manufacturers was left out while in this edition emphasis is laid on the general principles and operation of plotting devices.

Great attention is paid in Chapter 7 to the weather factors affecting echo strength and detection ranges and associated adjustments by the operator. In Chapter 9 a special section discusses the various properties of 3cm and 10cm (X- and S-Band) radar. Many serious collisions have taken place during rain squalls while 3cm radar was observed only. Quite often new ships nowadays are equipped with a radar package consisting of X- and S-band interswitching units.

Parallel Index techniques, so important for radar navigation, are described in Chapter 10. This is not new and has featured in the book since the first edition.

Chapter 11 deals with radar beacons and transponders and has been considerably expanded since earlier editions.

In the plotting section (Chapter 13) some more advanced plotting methods are explained such as Possible Points of Collision (PPCs), Predicted Areas of Danger (PADs), Sectors of Danger and Sectors of Preference (SODs and SOPs respectively). In the succeeding chapter useful plotting rules are quoted, which will help the observer to predict without actual plotting, the approximate relative motions of ships' echoes on the display before he/ she makes a manoeuvre or takes avoiding action.

The use of radar for anti-collision is discussed in Chapter 16, where also much attention is paid to the variety of display presentations available with radars, including ARPAs, such as Head-up, Course-up, North-up and True Motion displays.

Appendix II, which in previous editions contained elementary principles of electricity and electronics, has been considerably shortened and now only discusses the Transmission of Signals, and Basic Logic.

The straightforward revision questions at the end of the book are incorporated for the use of students not studying in British Institutions. The multi-choice questions are useful for all types of students and colleges; their main purpose is for self-testing for which they are carefully selected.

Altogether the book serves many purposes. Its main aim is as a text or reference book for Merchant Navy Officers while under training or on watch. All that it really does is to describe the picture on the radar screen and to help with the interpretation. But it will also be useful for marine managers and superintendents, radar manufacturers and lecturers at Nautical Colleges.