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New Products: Furuno Doppler Radome

by Norris Comer

This month’s feature product pushes ocean-going technology to a whole new level. Furuno’s DRS4D-NXT utilizes solid-state Doppler radar technology and is one of only two radars that feature this advanced capability (for now). The DRS4D-NXT is loaded with new innovations, notably Furuno’s proprietary ARPA Target Analyzer function that hazard-colors objects based upon their speed and direction. For example, the radar will present a stationary landmass as a green target while a vessel that’s moving toward your vessel at speeds over three knots is colored red. Operators can check a detected object’s speed and vector information, and the radar can simultaneously track up to one hundred ARPA targets. Users can also set alarms to ensure that they don’t accidentally sail over unsafe areas (e.g., waters where organized events are taking place). There is no start-up warming time, which saves valuable time at the helm or navigation station.

Additionally, the DRS4D-NXT has simultaneous dual-range capabilities to provide both long-range and short-range views of your surroundings at all times. Heading up to the San Juans on a foggy day? Set your ranges to 5 nm to dodge the ferries and 10 nm to keep an eye for expected landmarks. It is worthwhile to note the radar’s range is .0625 to 36 nm, but the maximum range decreases to 12 nm when dual range is used.

This robust, waterproof radar is rated to IP-26 weatherproofing standards and can tackle temperatures from -13ºF to 131ºF, meaning that it will be right at home on Pacific Northwest waters. Installation of the 16.1-pound unit is simple and—says Furuno—users should never have a reason to open their radomes.

Additionally, Furuno’s proprietary RezBoost beam-sharpening technology helps increase image resolution, while Furno’s latest Bird Mode feature helps fisherman find the flocks of seabirds that so often reveal the location of the big haul. Sailors will especially appreciate the DRS4D-NXT’s closed radome construction, which ensures that errant running rigging or sails won’t accidentally tangle with an open-array system. Finally, the DRS4D-NXT’s Doppler technology allows mariners of all ages (and heights) to quickly tell if a target is a threat to safe navigation thanks to the unit’s red-green target coloring scheme.

Irrespective of whether the day’s agenda involves sailing or powerboating, all vessels would benefit from a great radar. Depending on your needs, Furuno’s DRS4D-NXT could be your ticket.

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