Onboard the high speed ambulance vessel MS Thea Jensen, non-IMO radar DRS 12A NXT is installed as a supplement to the IMO-approved radar. For high speed vessels in coastal traffic, the DRS radar's technology and functions contribute quick yet safe decisions.


The radar plant onboard MS Thea Jensen consists of a Furuno FAR-2318 and DRS 12A NXT. Certified as a high speed ambulance vessel with a passenger certificate, Thea Jensen has a carrying requirement for an IMO-approved HSC X-band radar. All other navigational instruments must also be wheelmarked. However, the shipping company had a strong desire to take advantage of new technology to obtain improved noise suppression, new functions for improved situational awareness such as Target Analyzer™, as well as presentation of the location of fishing gears reported to BarentsWatch, displayed directly on the radar. These are alle features of the FURUNO DRS radars.


The performance of the DRS radar excites the navigators on board MS Thea Jensen. They like that the radar automatically adjusts the rotation speed of the antenna optimally, in relation to speed and range. In the short/medium/long range, the antenna has a speed of 48/36/24 rpm, respectively. The fast rotation in short and medium range adds an extra dimension to the noise elimination, since the radar collects, processes and display more information within a shorter period of time. The navigators are now well experienced with the DRS radars features and functions and feel a very high degree of confidence with regards to the radar's performance in fog, heavy rain and heavy snow drifts.

For those of us who go close to land, at high speed and in all weather conditions, an accurate radar image is of paramount importance. We experience that the noise elimination is very reliable. Additionally, we experience that the auto-adjustment of rpm gives a clean radar image faster than what we ourselves can manage to adjust, when we adjust the range as we increase or reduce speed. This relieves stress and we can lower our shoulders a few notches.- Mats Martinsen, general manager of Loppa Legeskyssbåter.


Both the technology used and several of the functions of the DRS radars go beyond the IMO's performance standard. So in principle the DRS radars cannot be installed on an IMO vessel or any vessel with requirements for wheelmarked navigational equipment. Therefor, in collaboration with Loppa Legeskyss, Furuno Norway has applied for dispensations to the Norwegian Maritime Directorate. This was granted to allow investigation on whether the FURUNO DRS radars can be a usefull additional radar that increases safety, especially with regards to coastal sailing. The report is being sent to the Norwegian Maritime Directorate these days and we are eager to find out whether TimeZero Professional and DRS radar can be allowed as an additional instrument for other IMO vessels as well, at least i Norwegain waters.


Target analyzer™

Target Analyzer™ is an example of a DRS radar function that goes beyond the IMO's performance standard for radar. The Doppler effect is utilized to analyse the risk of collision. At the risk of a collision the potentially dangerous targets change to a red colour. With a quick glance at the radar image, the navigator perceives potential dangers and can correct speed and course, in due time.

The radar performance and the new functions continuously provide us with a highly reliable overview of the surroundings. This is so important to us. We are often on sharp assignments, where life and health can be at stake. The performance and functions of the DRS radars allow us to move safely, even at high speeds and in unclean waters, close to land, says Mats Martinsen, general manager of Loppa Legeskyssbåter.


The location of fishing gear displayed on the radar image.

Barentswatch integraTION 

As the DRS radars are integrated with TimeZero Professional, navigators have a good overview of fishing gear currently in the sea. TimeZero Professional retrieves such information from BarentsWatch and presents the location of the gear not only in the chart but also on the radar. Fishing gears are presented in a separate presentation layer, which can be switched on and off. Nevertheless, one must always keep in mind that it is position data for where the gear was set that is presented. Possible off drift must be taken into account.

This is definitely a huge advantage. During the 18 months we have been in operation, we have not once had fishing gears in the propellers. This is a new record, by far. It is also good example of functionality that we get access to, due to the dispensation. We will be very clear in our test report to the authorities that this kind of functionality contributes to safe and continuous operation for us. Hopefully this can lead to other vessels being granted permission to install the DRS radar and TimeZero Professional as secondary radar and chart plotter.

this looks interesting! I WANT TO E-MAIL FURUNO NORWAY