Northrop Grumman Corporation (NOC)
announced the introduction of a new generation of commercial navigation radars incorporating electronic charts.
The new VisionMaster FT products are the first of a new series of highly integrated navigation solutions which
are being developed by Northrop Grumman’s Sperry Marine business unit at its worldwide commercial marine headquarters in New Malden, United Kingdom.
The VisionMaster FT Chart Radar provides the navigator with a seamless integration of radar and chart functionality. Combining approved vector-format digital charts with the radar picture enhances situation awareness for watchstanders. The operator can select the desired density of chart information to be shown on the screen, ranging from a simplified presentation of shoreline and navigation to a full-chart display mode. The digital charts, as well as chart updates and system upgrades can be uploaded through a standard DVD reader or USB connection.
“The VisionMaster FT radars are everything you might expect from a company with more than 60 years of experience in marine-radar design,” said J. Nolasco DaCunha, vice president and general manager of the Sperry Marine commercial marine group. “They are the heirs of the well-known BridgeMaster product line, which has for many years represented the benchmark in marine radar reliability and performance.”
Like the BridgeMaster radars, the VisionMaster FT products incorporate as a standard feature advanced automatic clutter-suppression technology, enabling the operator to detect and track weak radar targets in clutter.
The new systems are fully compliant with the current international type-approval standards for radar, chart radar and automatic radar plotting aids, and have been designed with a simple upgrade path to meet the emerging standards expected to come into effect after 2008.
The VisionMaster FT displays are fully compatible with BridgeMaster E X- and S-band antennas and transceiver configurations, making it easy to integrate or retrofit the new technology on existing BridgeMaster E installations.
“The new radars are just the beginning,” said DaCunha. “The same open-architecture design concept will be incorporated into other Sperry Marine bridge
systems in the coming year. All of these systems will share a common user interface and software routines, and will provide a built-in upgrade path from a basic stand-alone product to a complete networked integrated bridge system.”