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Old 20-03-2011, 23:50   #1
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Radar and Sails

I am new to using radar and have concerns regarding the efficiency of radar when sails are up. Do sails blanket the signal from the radar and therefore limits its ability to identify targets?

Peter
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Old 21-03-2011, 00:36   #2
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Re: Radar and Sails

Sails don't really return a signal. It's got to me something harder like metal, rock, etc. I'm sure a very selective radar and some very thick wet sails might make a blip, but I've never seen it have an impact.
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Old 21-03-2011, 00:53   #3
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Re: Radar and Sails

Only if you have carbon fiber sails.
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Old 21-03-2011, 03:10   #4
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Re: Radar and Sails

I was looking more at my sails, I have the radar mounted on the lower spreader and have an overlapping genoa. I was concerned that the genoa may blanked the signal from the radar.

Peter
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Old 21-03-2011, 05:06   #5
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Re: Radar and Sails

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Originally Posted by spiritcat View Post
I was looking more at my sails, I have the radar mounted on the lower spreader and have an overlapping genoa. I was concerned that the genoa may blanked the signal from the radar.

Peter
The sail itself will not "block" radar waves. What does block radar waves especially well are conductive materials, this includes seawater. It would be a HUGE problem if your sails are made of cotton and could retain a lot of water, but I'm guessing they aren't so there will be a little dampness or droplets. In all likely-hood even if your sail is very wet most of the signal should pass through, and that which is reflected back is probably ignored by a filter or the software as "noise" because it is simply too close.

Though if you're worried you should contact the manufacture just to be sure. For all we know your radar could have been built by people who have no idea what their doing. Wouldn't be the first time.
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Old 22-03-2011, 07:41   #6
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Re: Radar and Sails

You know, this thread made me think, why hasn't anyone tried weaving metallic threads into a sail to make the whole thing a radar reflector? I suppose it would be a bit expensive, but I would think you could create a terrific return with such a thing.

Of course, then your sails would DEFINITELY blanket your own radar signal, but for boats that don't have their own radar...
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Old 22-03-2011, 09:04   #7
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Good idea DenverDon. Maybe pick up some used foil chaff that litters the ground under air combat training space and tape them to your sails for a big cheap radar reflector.
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Old 22-03-2011, 09:13   #8
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Re: Radar and Sails

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You know, this thread made me think, why hasn't anyone tried weaving metallic threads into a sail to make the whole thing a radar reflector? I suppose it would be a bit expensive, but I would think you could create a terrific return with such a thing.

Of course, then your sails would DEFINITELY blanket your own radar signal, but for boats that don't have their own radar...
Been tried. Except for Carbon Fiber sails it did not prove very effective. In a similar vein, there was a company that was manufacturing a "Radar Flag" that had metalic threads woven into it. They proved ineffective and the company has apparently "folded".

We have a Raytheon R20xx Radome mounted 2/3rd of the way up our mast and have never had difficulty with the sail impeding reception, even in the rain.

FWIW...
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Old 22-03-2011, 12:30   #9
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Re: Radar and Sails

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Been tried. Except for Carbon Fiber sails it did not prove very effective. In a similar vein, there was a company that was manufacturing a "Radar Flag" that had metalic threads woven into it. They proved ineffective and the company has apparently "folded".

We have a Raytheon R20xx Radome mounted 2/3rd of the way up our mast and have never had difficulty with the sail impeding reception, even in the rain.

FWIW...
Not surprising this didn't work very well. Along with material, the shape of the reflector is very important. Right angles are what you want, and sales...ummmm....rarely every form right angles.
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