Raymarine has just announced their all new Cyclone open array radar.  What makes it so new and great?  First, this is Raymarine's first open array solid state radar.  They've been doing this new technology for years with their Quantum domes, but now offer it in open array. Solid state radars generally use less power, emit less radiation, turn on faster, and most importantly the signal can be manipulated more. This last feature results in improved image quality, and some neat features. 

The image quality is improved because this radar uses CHIRP (Compressed high intensity radar pulse).  This sends out a blast of frequencies and listens back for all of them.  To explain this at the most basic level, if a target is shown on multiple frequencies and missing on a few others, the system determines it is a real target. Conversely if a target only shows up on a few frequencies the system determines it is clutter and will not show it. This technology is now widely used in recreational radars.  The downisde of CHIRP is that it does not put as much power on the targets as a traditional radar would.  So they are often not as good as an equivilently sized traditional radar for longer ranges.  But they are almost always better for shorter ranges and navigation. 

CHIRP allows for some great signal manipulation and maximizes certain features, like Bird Mode. Birds will show up very clearly on a radar like this.  Another feature is beam sharpening. This electronically makes the radar beam smaller, less of an angle. Radar beam width is the ultimate criteria to how a radar performs.  The narrower the bean width, the better a radar can pick targets apart. Electronic beam sharpening allows this radar to have a beam width as narrow as a much larger radar enhacing performance.  RangeFusion is another great feature that lets the radar combine its long range view and short range view into one view with settings optimized at various ranges to show the best overall picture. 

The hardware is incredible too.  60RPM rotational speeds gives updates every second.   The new low profile design allows for greater clearance than prior radars.  And the new pedestal has a neat mounting form factor that conceals all cables. 

The Raymarine Cyclone Open Array Radar is available in a variety of ways.  Array sizes come in 3', 4', and 6'.  As the array gets wider the beam width gets narrower increasing performance.  Power outputs are available in 55W or 110W.  As power increases long distance returns improve.