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» Online Classroom   » Radar   » Public Discussion of Marine Radar   » "Scanner" versus "antenna?"

Author Topic: "Scanner" versus "antenna?"
David Burch

 - posted November 26, 2004 12:12 PM      Profile for David Burch           Edit/Delete Post 
Throughout Radar for Mariners we refer to the rotating, transmission and receiving unit of the radar as an "antenna." This is fairly common usage of the term, ie that everything in a radome, for example, is part of the "antenna." What kind of radar antenna do you have? etc.

However, on a more careful look at the literature and radar manuals, it seems we really should distinguish between "antenna" and "scanner." Some component of the scanner must certainly be an antenna, since they are the devices that produce, focus, and emit the microwave signals. But once we combine that with the receiver circuitry and the rotation motor and the mounts, and so on, the overall package is best called a "scanner."

And if this is the part of the radar unit you want to learn about from a manual, then you should search on "scanner" not "antenna."

Our use of the word "antenna" in the book is not the best choice. In the next edition we will correct that. We apparently got around the issue in the Glossary by not including either term! This was an oversight and had it been caught, it would have raised the issue. We have fixed the online Glossary, according to these notes here.

From: Starpath, Seattle, WA
Larry Brandt

 - posted January 04, 2007 04:20 PM      Profile for Larry Brandt           Edit/Delete Post 
The word "antenna" accurately describes (in the mind of this experienced radar technician) the phased array or parabolic antenna together with the drive mechanism for same. Even the radome is not, in my experience, included in the term "antenna", as it is a separate item. Nor does "antenna" include other essential functions such as the transmitter, receiver, or any video processing circuitry.

I agree that "scanner" is a more accurate term.

From: Port Ludlow, WA
David Burch

 - posted January 04, 2007 07:23 PM      Profile for David Burch           Edit/Delete Post 
thanks. i think that is the policy we will use. The unit as a whole is the scanner and can be referred to that way for generic discussion, such as stay a way from, or to install... or the type of etc... but when it comes to the device that is actually broadcasting the signals we will use "antenna"

Thus it is the width of the antenna that determines the horizontal beam width, not the width of the scanner.

a key note we were making is you may have to use both when searching a manual or a website.

From: Starpath, Seattle, WA

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