EchoMax offers some of the best known passive radar reflectors in the world, from early sales to pleasure vessels they are now fitted by many of the leading buoy manufacturers in Europe and as far away as Australia, Port and Harbour Authorities and are used by US Nuclear Submarines and many other foreign Navies. EchoMax radar reflectors are constructed of three stack array of laser cut aluminum and have an increased cross section for a consistent response. Additionally, their large amount of reflective material does not have the characteristic peaks and large nulls of the normal corner reflector due to the multiple corner stacked arrays and they produce a far higher average return than Luneberg lens reflectors. They can be mounted on a standing rig, halyard hoist or mast.
Echomax 180 Radar Reflector
Designed for smaller boats, this Radar Reflector is based on the proven John Firth patented stacked symmetrical array with peak responses of 8m2. EchoMax has utilized the largest possible array with the smallest possible robust polyethylene case with minimum windage and weight. This model EchoMax Radar Reflector is suitable for deck, mast mount fixing, or halyard suspension and is available in a variety of colors.
Echomax 230 Midi Original Radar Reflector
This middle sized EchoMax Polyethylene model is suited for sailing yachts, RIBs and motor cruisers.
Echomax 230 Midi Radar Reflector With Base Mount
The EchoMax 230 is the smallest of the Polyethylene models for RIBs, powerboats and motor cruisers in a base mount version. Features 4 integrally molded fixing points for stability and reliability. Chosen by the RNLI as the best reflector for their fleet of 400 RIB's. After capsize tests and exhaustive sea trials, the Mii recorded 100% paints at 3.8 miles and 80% paints at 5 miles plus in sea state 'fair' although mounted only 2m above sea level.
Echomax 305PE Radar Reflector
The EM305PE model is suited for larger size vessels and has been successfully tested by QinetiQ to ISO 9729-1999, RORC and ORC and meets sections A.1/1.33 and A.1/4.39 of annex A1 of Marine Directive 98/95/EC. The EM305PE has also been chosen by the US Navy SubPac Division Hawaii for enhanced visibility upon surfacing for their fleet of nuclear submarines. The polyethylene case is 21.6% more effective than the glass fibre model.
Radar Reflectors Explained
Radar Cross Section (RCS)
1. A sphere operates with a weak signal at all angles of incident radiation.
2. A flat plate is an extremely efficient reflector but has a very sharp angle of response.
3. RCS may, for practical purposes, be defined as the cross section area of a conducting sphere of such a size that it would return an echo equal in strength to that of an equivalent flat plate oriented so as to be perpendicular to the direction of the incident radiation.
4. One metre squared is the cross section of a sphere radius 0.565 metre (R2xPi - 1 metre 2).
What is the difference between an RTE and a radar reflector?
The term "radar target enhancer" or RTE can be used to describe any device that improves the radar image of the object it is mounted on. "Passive RTE" or "radar reflectors" are devices that work by reflecting incoming radar pulses. "Active RTE" are devices that consist of a receiver antenna, radar receiver, amplifier, transmitter, and transmitter antenna. They work by receiving the incoming radar pulse, amplifying it in the electronic amplifier, and retransmitting the amplified pulse.
Why are recreational vessels so difficult to detect with radar?
Recreational vessels have poor radar images; they are hard to detect with radar. Part of the problem is that recreational (i.e. small) powerboats and sailboats have small radar cross section (RCS) compared to large ocean-going vessels. The main problem, however, is that the radar-reflective material is concentrated close to the waterline. The multipath effect caused by radar waves reflecting from the surface of the water makes the effective RCS of even large targets very small when the target is concentrated close to the surface of the water, as is the case with recreational vessels.
What does a radar reflector accomplish?
A radar reflector, or active RTE, provides a radar target that is higher above the surface of the water than the hull. Even though the RCS of the radar reflector may be no larger than the RCS of the vessel itself, being mounted above the hull produces a stronger radar image.
What is multipath propagation and why is it important?
In the marine environment a radar pulse travels from the radar to the target (and also in the reverse direction) by two paths. One path is direct from the radar antenna to the target; the second path involves reflection from the surface of the water. The two pulses combine at the target before being reflected or processed by an active RTE. The combined pulse may be much stronger than would be the case in the absence of the water. It may also be zero, i.e. absolutely no radar power hits the target, in which case the target is invisible to radar regardless of its size. The power in the combined pulse, which may be anything from zero to four times the power in each individual pulse, depends on the height of the radar antenna and the height of the radar-reflecting target.