Up to 1945 military use of responder beacons led to numerous systems such as Rebecca-Eureka, Oboe and I.F.F. giving a facility of identification and location not available from a primary radar system. As radar was turned to peaceful purposes the desirability of these advantages in civilian systems was recognized, but without military compulsion, cost became the governing factor. Aircraft use of a responder beacon as part of the air traffic control system was easily justifiable, but although attempted, extension to the marine field did not succeed until the UK Ministry of Transport Safety of Navigation Committee set up a Technical Committee and working Party in 1962 to investigate conditions governing the marine installation of Racons, or Responder Beacons. This Committee recommended that racons should be set up to an agreed specification at a number of sites around the UK to thus become the first civil marine navigational racon system. Credit is due to pioneer work of ASWE, the financial support of Trinity House and the manufacturing and service facilities of Kelvin Hughes, which together made possible the installation and operation of three racons (Bar LV, Kish, and St Abbs Head) which provided the experimental evidence on which the Committee's Recommendations were based. Technical advances, notably solid state devices used in the development of rockets and satellites, have improved reliability and reduced costs, so that it is now possible to contemplate extending the use of racons into other areas of marine operations. The paper examines these with regard to operational requirements, suitability and compatability, economics and acceptability, and suggests reasons why some of these proposals might be rejected.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • 45 Conference Papers presented at IMAS 73, London, 4-8 June 1973, organized by the Institute of Marine Engineers. This paper is available only in a set of 5 papers in Subject Group 6: "Navigational Aids, Radio Communications" at $10.00.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Institute of Marine Engineers

    Memorial Building, 76 Mark Lane
    London EC3R 7JN,   England 
  • Authors:
    • Harrison, A
  • Publication Date: 1973

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00048475
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Institute of Marine Engineers
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Nov 14 1973 12:00AM