The Offshore Voyaging Reference Site

Beware Auto-Tune on Modern Radars

Engineer and experienced mariner Eric Klem has just updated his review of his Furuno DRS2D-NXT doppler radar with a sobering account of how the auto-tune feature failed during a night approach to a crowded harbour.

Eric is an experienced radar user, and so was able to quickly diagnose the problem and fix it by taking over manual control of the gain and clutter settings, but those of us who are used to relying on fully automated radars may not have been able to do the same, or even figure out what the problem was.

To me the takeaway from Eric’s experience is that it’s vital to take the time to understand what these automated electronics are doing and how to take over when the automations get it wrong.

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