Radar Reflectors

Most small vessels constructed out of wood, fibreglass or composite materials are inherantly poor reflectors of radar energy. As radar is the primary piece of equipment used by all commercial vessels for collision avoidance in bad weather, poor visability and at night, it should be at the forefront of every skippers mind that when visability is limited they should ensure that everything is done to maximise the size of the radar reflection that their vessel produces. Radar Reflectors can be split into two types, Passive and Active. The majority of radar reflectors sold are passive devices that reflect the incoming radar energy by use of mathematically designed metal shapes. An active radar reflector is more correctly referred to as a Radar Target Enhancer. In simple terms these are electronic devices that receive the incoming radar energy, amplify it, and then re-transmit it so that the ship sees a greatly increased reflection on its radar screen.

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