JRC America, in a joint development effort with Campbell Transportation, introduced a new generation of the JMA-5200MKII and JMA-5300MKII, into the inland waterway market. In order to properly assess the effectiveness and performance of these products, the evaluations were performed on actual shipboard environments, addressing the operators concerns of poor close target image quality, ghost echoes, primarily caused by barges and power lines, and riverbank outlines with their current systems. The evaluations were performed on three vessels, the Bill Stile, the Georgetown, and the Allegheny, in separate locations on the lower Ohio, Allegheny and Kanawha Rivers.

Tim McCahill, Manager of Technology and Communications with Campbell Transportation Company, stated “We are making progressive efforts to better the situational encounters of our vessel operators by seeking out, testing, and providing our fleet with the best equipment available.” In addressing the needs of Campbell Transportation Company (CTC), JRC presented the opportunity to test market the JMA-5200/5300MKII systems on CTC vessels. This testing was performed simultaneously using JRC equipment in conjunction with the current systems to provide a clear evaluation. The operators commented on several benefits and features offered on the JRC systems that surpassed their current capabilities. Most notable are barge icons allowing the tug to see the barges (available in different sizes) on their screen while navigating, notable echo quality, even in poor weather conditions, superior radar picture quality and the ability to display the radar screen in a portrait mode while featuring the statue mile and rate of turn indicator on the display.

Available in June 2010, the new generation of JMA-5200MKII/5300MKII are the first systems to be marketed exclusively to the inland waterway market. “With the recent push to move more commerce from the roads to rivers in an already populated river system, it is extremely important the captains and crew have the best technology available. This industry has been neglected, navigating with a basic open water radar product. Unlike Europe with the Rhine River specification, the U.S. has not mandated any such provisions”, explains John Schwiering, Regional Sales Manager of JRC America. As always, the JMA-5200/5300MK II is also equipped with the Constaview™ feature, offering in-house tornado™ technology, that uses three high-speed processors, allowing smooth image rotation within milliseconds, ensuring top-quality picture and split second speeds to ensure the safety of the crew and vessel.