Radar Trainer 2a
Radar Trainer 2a (RT2a) is essentially the same as version 2.0. There are a few new demos, and the Help and Tutorial files have been replaced with the new integrated ones used for version 3. From the File menu, you can go back and forth as desired between the two programs. Many of the operational features are the same as in RT3. The differences are highlighted below.
In RT2a, the time factor covers a much larger range so you can set up traffic situations and evaluate them on both a large range scale and then speed up the action to do maneuvers at closer range. The True View window, shown open above, is also unique to RT2a, as are the more prominent echo trails that show in Plot mode. The Plot mode in RT2a has several options for frequency of marks (3, 6, 12 minutes as well as continuous).
Note in the True View window, that of the 3 targets that appear to be closing in on you on the radar screen, only "C" on the port bow is actually doing that. "D" is a buoy, and "B" is headed out around the buoy. The True View is an excellent way to learn more about the relative motion problem that must be solved in all radar observations.
The Sea State option is also unique to RT2a. The screen above is using "Calm" seas, as reflected in the background decoration. Below we show the "Moderate" seas mode. These together with "Heavy" seas controls how much seaway yawing is applied to the center vessel as it progresses. This option adds more reality to the problem of evaluating risk of collision in typical radars since the action of the seas in unstabilized radar displays smears out the trails which requires more careful analysis to determine projected courses. Note that the picture below is running at time factor 30 which produces an artificial representation of the effect of Sea State. To see this more realistically, one needs to run this in real time (factor of 1).
The above screen capture (also much compressed for this demo display; real screens are larger with sharp images) shows several options set. The EBL/VRM controls have been set to Track Ball or Cursor mode, in which case the range and bearing of the cursor shows continuously on the radar screen. Press the Electronic Bearing Line or Variable Range Marker line to draw in those markers at the location of the cursor. In the Keys mode, this is all controlled by pressing keys. Modern radars include one or the other or both options.
Also showing is the Closest Point of Approach Data for target B. To show this for any target, select the option, then press the target label. The Identify option labels each target with a letter for one radar sweep. This data and display are the same as presented in the RT3 Simulator operation notes.
Generate Traffic 3 Ways
Traffic can be set up in RT2a by 3 methods using, Preset Demos, Set Your Own Traffic, or Random Traffic. The Demo targets can be maneuvered and repositioned, but they will always start in the same configuration since these are the ones used in the Tutorials. There are numerous examples, including several instructive "Radar Games."
Any traffic pattern that you set and run once can then be stored as a personal Demo. Each can be given a unique name and a text description. To place traffic in any specific configuration, use Set Your Own Targets. These are entered numerically as shown in the graphic (in RT3, target traffic is entered graphically with drag and drop).
A very useful feature of RT2a simulator is its ability to generate Random Traffic patterns for unlimited practice with all new traffic on each run. If the Random generator creates a pattern you want to save, then you can do so from the Set Your Own Traffic option. Every patten that is run is stored in that window until changed. There are 3 levels of random traffic. Easy, Difficult, and Moderate. Easy means they are truely random and may just as well be headed away from you as toward you. Difficult means that all will be headed in toward you on some relatively close CPA. Moderate is somewhere in between these extremes.
As a general guideline, we would suggest using RT2a for collision avoidance studies and RT3 for radar piloting and navigation studies.