Different Courses and Speeds of Targets (不同的航向及航速)
There were two targets being shown on the captured radar screen. AIS information from both targets were displayed graphically as triangular marks with two vectors. A solid vector was used to represent the ship’s heading. Another dotted vector was showing its course made good. The targets were also showing a ninety seconds trail in true motion.
As well, the south-east moving target near the left side of the picture was tracked with ARPA. Tracked information was shown graphically with a circular symbol and another vector.
As shown with the AIS symbol, the heading of the north-west moving target at the right upper corner was changing. Yet, its made good course was still lagging behind. The course made good calculator in the GPS receiver was taking longer time to reflect changes made by a vessel.
The heading and the made good course of the vessel south-east bound were similar. The made good course was appeared to be the same as its heading. However, the ARPA tracked course and speed of the target was still lagging behind. As indicated by the target’s ninety seconds echo trail, the south-east moving target should had it course changed for more than one and a half minute ago. Yet, the ARPA tracking system was still indicating a vector closer to its previous course. It was more than one and a half minute delay.
Due to the limited accuracy of radar detection itself, ARPA system need time to smooth its calculated outputs of tracked targets. Or else, the vector of targets could be rather fluctuated and difficult to be used. The time needed to produce a stable output is not related to processing speed. The time needed is related to the number of scans. Advance in processing power is not going to shorten the time needed. It still needs a larger number of scans for the tracker to work properly and each scan takes two to three seconds.
In summary, ARPA should work well on a slow changing ship with steady targets. ARPA will become less reliable if it is used on ships that make drastic changes in course or speed. ARPA need time to reflect changes of tracked targets. Tracked information will be reliable only if the target has been keeping its course or speed. Apparently, ARPA may not be that useful in area such as port and harbour where ships might keep changing their courses and speeds.