Kelvin Hughes

VTS Radar Solutions

VTS Radar Solutions

Kelvin Hughes provides the world's Ports Authorities and Vessel Traffic Management Services (VTMS) with state of the art radar systems for the management, safety and security of busy shipping lanes, ports, waterways and coastlines. The SBS (Shore Based Sensor) radar range is specifically designed to meet the requirements of a Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) or coastal surveillance system as defined in IALA recommendation V-128.

We work with system integrators to enable the correct solution to be specified according to the end user's requirements. IALA recommends performance capabilities for a typical radar sensor application. The V-128 IALA recommendation defines the performance capability as Basic, Standard and Advanced.

Kelvin Hughes SBS-700 (non-coherent), SBS-800 and SBS-900 (both fully coherent) radar systems have been designed to align with the 'Basic', 'Standard' and 'Advanced' capability types of IALA V-128. SharpEye™ VTS systems provide the user with the ability to detect cooperative and uncooperative targets at longer ranges, earlier and in heavy rain and high sea states.

With hundreds of commissioned SBS systems worldwide operating reliably every day in ports, along coastlines and on offshore oil and gas platforms and FPSOs, SharpEye™ is proven in any coastal and offshore surveillance environment.

For more information on VTS Radar

Product Families

  SBS-700 SBS-800 SBS-900
Technology Enhanced Magnetron SharpEye™ SharpEye™
Configuration Single or Dual Redundant Single Single or Dual Redundant
Sensor Mounting Downmast Upmast Mast Mounted Enclosure
IALA Basic      
IALA Standard      
IALA Advanced      

Operational Features

SBS systems are fully remote controlled providing 24/7 operation and achieve extremely high range accuracy and target discrimination in range and azimuth. A significant differentiator between a SBS solid state radar solution and the next nearest alternative is full weather adaptability. A SharpEye™ solution adapts automatically to changes in the weather and environmental conditions without the need for any operator intervention.

Another significant differentiator is the interoperability, SharpEye™ systems do not interfere with other systems and are not susceptible to interference from other radar transmissions. Often a coastal surveillance system will be made up of overlapping areas of coverage by a single supplier or a mixed supplier system. The SBS system will fit seamlessly into the radar environment whilst also not contributing to the saturation of the transmission spectrum in the area.

SharpEye™ Solid State Pulse Doppler Radar

SharpEye™ radar technology meets the detection challenges of VTS and Port Authorities through a clever combination of radar techniques designed to provide the best performance in all conditions, whilst also providing the flexibility to be optimised for specific detection needs.

Solid state radar ensures extremely high reliability and low through life costs:

  • No magnetron - minimal routine maintenance requirements
  • High MTBF - high availability and reliability
  • Upmast and mast mounted transceivers - reduced waveguide - reduced signal loss - reduced infrastructure and operational costs
  • Frequency diversity
  • User selectable frequencies to ensure interoperability
SharpEye Transceiver

SharpEye™ transmits a low power patented pulse sequence, which enables short, medium and long range radar returns to be detected simultaneously, allowing the radar operator to maintain situational awareness regardless of the range scale setting of the radar display and other users of the radar can select their own radar display range scale.

Doppler processing of radar returns provides coherent information concerning target velocity (radial) and enable the detection of very small and slow moving objects and targets with a low Radar Cross Section (RCS) and through a series of electronic filters is able to distinguish between the targets of interest and sea, rain and land clutter.

SharpEye™ X-Band transmitters are the first in their class to employ Gallium Nitride (GaN) power transistor technology. The significant performance benefits of GaN transistors have been harnessed to directly improve the performance of the radar.

Other differentiating technologies include Moving Target Detection (MTD) providing enhanced clutter suppression at the Doppler processing stage and pulse compression of the return signal enabling a low transmit power, providing efficient use of the radar. Other Doppler radars may employ less advanced techniques such as Moving Target Indication (MTI) which does not take full advantage of the radial velocity information.

Upmast and Mast Mounted Transceivers

The SBS-800 range is configured to provide an upmast ultra-high reliability system without the need for dual redundancy of the radar sensor itself.

The SBS-900 range is configured to provide a mast mounted environmentally sealed enclosure. With minimal waveguide, signal loss and infrastructure costs are reduced, whilst providing a mast mounted system that meets the 'Advanced' availability requirement or can be configured to provide an 'X and S' Band system.

Magnetron Pulse Radar

For applications where the lower end of performance capability is all that is needed, the SBS-700 system is available as a downmast single or dual redundant configuration, normally located in an air condition room or service hut. Utilising a magnetron transmitter the SBS-700 is aimed at the basic and standard capability type as outlined in IALA V-128. The latest magnetron technology from Kelvin Hughes boasts the incorporation of a high dynamic range, a low noise front end and a FET modulator benefiting the operator with improved range discrimination.

Antenna Systems

Standard types include patented low profile designs to reduce wind loading, horizontally polarised slotted waveguide open array antennas.

Advanced antenna designs available as horizontal or circular polarised.

Sizes range from 3.7m to 6.4m.

Service Display

A Kelvin Hughes Service Display is available which enables the maintainer to control and display the radar locally for commissioning and maintenance purposes. A dual redundant systems gives the benefit of live operation of the online transceiver whilst being able to carry out maintenance tasks on the offline transceiver.

Our Approach

Careful selection of a VTS and coastal surveillance radar system is required to ensure the target types can be detected and tracked in the designated area covered by the vessel traffic service. Visibility, precipitation rates, sea states and propagation conditions relevant for the individual radar site also require careful consideration by the radar supplier to enable the optimal system to be specified.

Our approach to radar system design is to work closely with the right system integration companies to provide the end user a solution that is expertly recommended according to the specification and the actual application environment.

  Specifications subject to change without notice.
SharpEye™ Benefits and Features
  • Advanced capability
  • Affordable
  • Low cost of ownership
Ultra-high Reliability
  • Solid state electronics
  • Graceful degradation
  • Mil-Spec design
Clutter Suppression
  • Doppler processing
  • Small target detection
Incremental Capability
  • Capability Enhancements
  • Mission Updates
  • Useful life extension
Low Power
  • High pulse compression
Continuous Health Monitor
  • Built-in self test
  • System status monitor
Open Architecture
  • Independent display options
  • Camera/sensor interface
  • Gigabit Ethernet (ASTERIX)
  • Serial I/O
  • Fibre optic
Fully Coherent
  • Patented pulse sequence
  • Doppler processing
  • Moving Target Detection (MTD)
Blanking Sectors (Option)
  • Sectorised Transmission / Processing Modes
Sensor System Transceiver Location Frequency Antenna Pulse Compression Doppler Frequency Diversity
SBS-700-1 Magnetron Downmast X-Band Std. or Adv.      
SBS-700-2 Dual Magn. Downmast X-Band Std. or Adv.      
SBS-800-1 SharpEye™ Upmast X-Band 3.7m      
SBS-800-2 SharpEye™ Upmast X-Band 5.5m      
SBS-800-3 SharpEye™ Upmast X-Band 5.5m      
SBS-800-51 SharpEye™ Upmast S-Band 3.9m      
SBS-900-2 SharpEye™ Mast mounted enclosure X-Band Std. or Adv.      
SBS-900-3 Dual SE Mast mounted enclosure X-Band Std. or Adv.      
SBS-900-4 X & S SE Mast mounted enclosure X & S-Band Std. or Adv.     X-Band only
Specification SharpEye™ X-Band Magnetron X-Band SharpEye™ S-Band
Operating Frequency 9.2 - 9.5 GHz (X-Band) 9.37 GHz ±0.03GHz 2.9 - 3.1 GHz (S-Band)
Frequency Diversity (FD) Optional No No
Frequency Channels Non FD 12 / FD 10 1 8
Peak Power Up to 300W 25kW Up to 200W
Output Power Transistor Type GaN N/A GaAs
Pulse Compression Ratio Dependant on SBS system N/A Dependant on SBS system
Signal Processor Doppler Processing N/A Doppler Processing
Clutter Discrimination Up to 16 filters N/A Up to 32 filters
Clutter Suppression Automatic N/A Automatic
Minimum Range ≤40m ≤40m ≤40m
Instrumented Ranges 24nm and 48nm 96nm 24nm and 48nm
Pulse Lengths 0.1μS - 100μS 0.04μS / 0.08μS / 0.25μS / 1.0μS 0.1μS - 100μS
Reliability Up to 150,000 hrs MTBF 10,000 hrs (approx.) MTBF Up to 150,000 hrs MTBF
Power Modes High and low power modes N/A High and low power modes
Antenna (standard) 3.7m or 5.5m low profile (std.) 3.7m or 5.5m low profile (std.) 3.9m low profile

For detailed specifications please contact us.