Kelvin Hughes

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Simple software upgrades enhance radar capabilities

Customers are impressed by the enhanced capabilities of Kelvin Hughes radars achieved by upgrading their software, which in some cases exceed the performance criteria of special-purpose radar for the detection of pirates, ice and oil spills.

Kelvin Hughes’ reliable, high-performance radars already suit all requirements and budgets for newbuilds, retrofits and specialised operations, but the company has enhanced its capabilities even further by introducing new MantaDigital™ radar software upgrades. “In many cases the performance of our radars for commercial shipping exceeds that of special-purpose radar for detecting, ice, oil spills, pirates and birds,” said Bruce Santos, Head of Commercial Sales “Feedback from commercial users has been excellent. Not having to purchase additional hardware is a major advantage to ship owners and operators.”

“Kelvin Hughes comes to SMM 2012 with the best, most comprehensive and technically advanced range of radars available to the commercial shipping industry. All vessels fitted with our commercial MantaDigital™ radar have access to a wide range of additional functions, all of which are all easily available without the need for additional hardware,” said Mr Santos.

“These features include ice navigation, the detection and tracking of oil spills and the ability to configure the radars to provide the best chance of early detection of the small craft favoured by pirates.”

MantaDigital™ wide screen radars build on the company’s depth of experience in commercial marine radar, and the development team has worked hard at refining imaginative functions designed with the mariner in mind, both to ease the general burden of navigation and collision avoidance and to deliver specialised capabilities for specific marine operations.

Twin, independent PPIs on the same wide display allow the operator to employ a very flexible approach that avoids the necessity of switching between range scales and display options. Integration with low light and infra-red camera systems also serves to increase the capability available, further enhancing the situational awareness of the crew.

The SharpEye™ bonus
The added bonus is that all this functionality can be taken to another level of performance simply by specifying the SharpEye™ digital radar.

In 2006, Kelvin Hughes was the first of the radar majors to market this next generation of radars which outperform the industry standard magnetron products in all areas, particularly when detecting small targets in clutter.

Now, with millions of trouble-free hours logged on the full spectrum of vessels ranging from high end luxury cruise ships to anchor handling vessels working in the demanding offshore industry, SharpEye™ has demonstrated impressive reliability and exceptional performance. It has found particular favour in the offshore market, where its exceptional ability to detect small targets in all weather conditions is highly prized.

“Despite its market leading performance, SharpEye™ S Band radar is very competitively priced,” said Santos “With no magnetron or other ‘lifed’ components to replace on a regular basis, payback for fitting a SharpEye™ radar is under three years. Moreover, it puts an end to the cycle of diminishing performance experienced as magnetron efficiency degrades with age.”

Industry praise for ice radar
“Through development processes, new applications continuously come to light, such as our new ice navigation radar technology, MDICE, which was introduced last year and is already receiving extremely positive feedback from satisfied customers,” he says.

“Our MDICE software provides an enhanced, 3D like radar image of ice, debris and other stationary or slow moving objects, displayed as part of the enhanced target display (ETD) functionality on any of our MantaDigital™ radars.”

Craig Whiteway, Marine Operations Superintendent for the Woodward Group, which provides marine services within Newfoundland, Labrador and the Canadian Arctic, said:
“Our Kelvin Hughes' MantaDigital™ radar with ice navigator software has surpassed all expectations. In a difficult Arctic environment it has proven to be an excellent tool in assisting the bridge team to select the safest passage through ice infested waters.”

High performance processor key to oil spill detection
As for oil spill detection, MantaDigital™ radar can use an oil spotting mode to make spill detection and clean up substantially more efficient.

“The key is the automatic processing which works in the opposite way from regular radar operation,” explained Barry Wade, Kelvin Hughes’ Technical Director. “We look for a very slight reduction in radar return caused by the reduced backscatter from the oil-smoothed water surface; radars normally seek small increased returns from floating or semi-submerged objects. Separating these smoothed areas from the surrounding ‘noisy’ sea requires sophisticated algorithms and a lot of processing power. MantaDigital™’s high performance core processor has been the key to enabling this functionality to be built into a commercial radar system.”

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