Radar and ARPA Manual - 3rd Edition - ISBN: 9780080977522, 9780080977713

Radar and ARPA Manual

3rd Edition

Radar, AIS and Target Tracking for Marine Radar Users

Authors: Alan Bole Alan Wall Andy Norris
Paperback ISBN: 9780080977522
eBook ISBN: 9780080977713
Imprint: Butterworth-Heinemann
Published Date: 6th December 2013
Page Count: 552
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This fully revised new edition covers the complete radar/ARPA installation and serves as the most comprehensive and up-to-date reference on equipment and techniques for radar observers using older and newer systems alike. Suitable for use as a professional reference or as a training text, the book covers all aspects of radar, ARPA and integrated bridge systems technology (including AIS, ECDIS and GNSS) and their role in shipboard operations. It is a valuable resource for larger vessels and also covers the needs of leisure and amateur sailors for whom this technology is now accessible.

Radar and ARPA Manual provides essential information for professional mariners, including those on training courses for electronic navigation systems and professional certificates internationally. Reference is made throughout to IMO (International Maritime Organization) Performance Standards, the role of radar in navigation and in collision avoidance, and to international professional and amateur marine operations qualifications.

Key Features

  • The most up-to-date book available, with comprehensive treatment of modern radar and ARPA systems and ECDIS (Electronic Chart Display & Information Systems)
  • Full coverage of IMO performance standards relating to radar and navigational technology on new and established vessels
  • Covers best practice use of equipment as well as underlying principles, with essential mathematics and complicated concepts illustrated through the use of clear illustrations


Professional mariners, port, ship & boat managers ashore, leisure industry users, boat & shipbuilders, yacht skippers, naval architects, ship equipment specifiers, maritime lawyers, port & harbour authorities, marine equipment manufacturers, and command level marine students studying for deck and navigation qualifications.

Table of Contents


Preface to the Third Edition


Chapter 1. Basic Radar Principles

1.1 Introduction

1.2 Principles of Range and Bearing Measurement

1.3 Principles of Bearing Measurement

1.4 Display Modes

1.5 Motion and Stabilization Modes

Chapter 2. The Radar System – Technical Principles

2.1 Introduction

2.2 Basic Functionality

2.3 The Radar Signal

2.4 The Radar Transmitter

2.5 Antenna Principles

2.6 Radar Signal Reception and Processing

2.7 Radar Processing Principles

2.8 The Radar Display and User Controls

2.9 Solid-State Radar Principles

2.10 The Siting of Units on Board Ship

Chapter 3. Target Detection

3.1 Introduction

3.2 Radar Characteristics

3.3 Target Characteristics

3.4 Target Enhancement – Passive

3.5 Target Enhancement – Active

3.6 The Detection of Targets in Sea Clutter

3.7 The Detection of Targets in Precipitation Clutter

3.8 The Radar Horizon

3.9 False and Unwanted Radar Responses

Chapter 4. Automatic Radar Target Tracking, Specified Facilities

4.1 Introduction

4.2 The Acquisition of Targets

4.3 The Tracking of Targets

4.4 Vectors

4.5 The ARPA Display

4.6 The Display of Alphanumeric Data

4.7 Alarms and Warnings

4.8 Automatic Ground-Stabilization

4.9 Navigational Lines and Maps (See Also Section

4.10 Target Simulation Facility

4.11 The Predicted Point of Collision

4.12 The Predicted Area of Danger (PAD)

Chapter 5. Automatic Identification System (AIS)

5.1 Organization of AIS Transmissions

5.2 AIS Information Transmitted by a Class A Vessel

5.3 AIS Messages and Types

5.4 AIS Units and Bridge Displays

5.5 AIS Usability

5.6 Benefits of AIS to Shore Monitoring Stations

5.7 Radar/ARPA and AIS Comparison for Collision Avoidance

5.8 Other AIS Applications and Applications Associated with AIS

Chapter 6. Operational Controls

6.1 Use of Controls and Optimum Performance

6.2 Setting Up the Radar Display

6.3 Performance Monitoring

6.4 Change of Range Scale and/or Pulse Length

6.5 The Stand-by Condition

6.6 Controls for Range and Bearing Measurement

6.7 Controls for the Suppression of Unwanted Responses

6.8 Echo Stretch

6.9 Using an Automatic Radar Plotting Display

6.10 AIS Operational Controls

Chapter 7. Radar Plotting Including Collision Avoidance

7.1 Introduction

7.2 The Relative Plot

7.3 The True Plot

7.4 The Plot When Only the Target Manoeuvres

7.5 The Plot When the Own ship Manoeuvres

7.6 The Theory and Construction of PPCs, PADs, SODs and SOPs

7.7 The Plot in Tide

7.8 Manual Plotting – Accuracy and Errors

7.9 Errors Associated with the True-Motion Presentation

7.10 Radar Plotting Aids

7.11 The Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea as Applied to Radar and ARPA

7.12 Intelligent Knowledge-Based Systems as Applied to Collision Avoidance

Chapter 8. Navigation Techniques Using Radar and ARPA

8.1 Introduction

8.2 Identification of Targets and Chart Comparison

8.3 Position Fixing

8.4 Parallel Indexing

Chapter 9. ARPA – Accuracy and Errors

9.1 Introduction

9.2 The Accuracy of Displayed Data Required by the Performance Standard

9.3 The Classification of ARPA Error Sources

9.4 Errors that are Generated in the Radar Installation

9.5 Errors in Displayed Data

9.6 Errors of Interpretation

Chapter 10. Ancillary Equipment

10.1 Global Navigation Satellite Systems

10.2 Electronic Charts (ECDIS)

10.3 Integrated Systems

10.4 Voyage Data Recorders (SEE ALSO SECTION 11.3.5)

Chapter 11. Extracts from Official Publications

11.1 Extracts from Regulation 19, Chapter V, Safety of Navigation, of IMO-SOLAS Convention

11.2 IMO Performance Standards for Radar Equipment

11.3 IMO Performance Standards for Other Related Equipment

11.4 Extracts from UK Statutory Instrument 1993 No. 69, the Merchant Shipping (Navigational Equipment) Regulations 1993

Glossary of Acronyms and Abbreviations



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About the Author

Alan Bole

After 10 years at sea, Alan Bole qualified as Extra Master Mariner. In 1965, he was appointed Lecturer in Charge of the Radar School at the Liverpool Regional College of Technology. In 1973, Alan was appointed Principal Lecturer in Radar Simulation at the now Liverpool Polytechnic, and in 1979 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Navigation and a Fellow of the Nautical Institute. Since his retirement in 1988, Alan has been focussing on consultancies pertaining to Radar, Navigation and Simulation Worldwide. He also supervises degrees to PhD level through Liverpool John Moore’s University. He is a Royal Yachting Association Yachtmaster and Examiner to all levels including ‘Ocean’, and a Co-author of a number of nautical books and publications.

Affiliations and Expertise

Radar/ARPA nautical consultant and former Principal Lecturer in Navigation Systems at Liverpool John Moores University, UK

Alan Wall

Dr. Alan Wall worked for 14years as a deck officer on oil tankers with Mobil Shipping Company before completing a PhD in Operational Research at Lancaster University. He then joined Liverpool John Moores University as a nautical lecturer and is now Subject Head with responsibility for marine professional training at LJMU. For 20 years, he has been extensively involved in most aspects of the training and education of seafarers including the provision and training of seafarers using of marine bridge simulators and ship radar equipment. His research and consultancy has involved the use of marine radar and operational research.

Affiliations and Expertise

Subject Head of Maritime & Logistics at Liverpool John Moores University and Co-Director of LOOM (the LJMU marine research institute), UK.

Andy Norris

Affiliations and Expertise

Technical Committee Chair, Royal Institute of Navigation and Special Professor of Navigation Technology, University of Nottingham, UK


"...There is no doubt in my mind that this book has had more influence on radar specification and operational practice than any other." – Seaways