Radar: TArget SIMulator (1991)

TARget SIMulator (TARSIM) – 1991

The purpose of the target simulator system TARSIM is to present synthetic targets on a radar screen that can be used in practising the detection of targets. The simulated targets can not or can hardly be distinguished from real radar targets. The maximum range of the simulation is a radius of 350 nm (Nautical Miles). The number of simulated targets can be as high as thirty. Every second, the positions of these targets are recalculated, taking into account the specific parameters of the targets, the actual position of the simulated vessel, and wind data.

TARSIM operates in two modes: SLAVE mode and MASTER modes:

  • SLAVE mode: the simulation of the targets takes place with a normally operating radar system. The radar display shows the radar image with the additional simulated targets.
  • MASTER mode: TARSIM generates all necessary information; the radar transceiver is switched off. In this mode, it is possible to simulate different types of radar systems with, for example, other antenna rotational speeds, pulse repetition frequency (PRF), and the like. In this mode, it is possible to have the radar displays working during radar silence.

Inputted data and the input of control data of the simulator is displayed on a TV monitor. All system parameters are grouped in an orderly manner. The system is menu-driven. With the cursor keys on the keyboard, one may easily select a variable to be entered. Using the keyboard and/or a special operating unit (Target Control Unit or TCU), the targets, wind and the ship can be ‘controlled’. Up to four TCUs can be connected to TARSIM. All data in the TARSIM system is stored in permanent memory so that in the event of a power failure or when the system is being switched off and on all data is still present and does not need to be re-entered. Eight complete initial menus can be stored in the system.

The TARSIM system contains the following system parts:

  • Processor unit
  • Interface unit
  • Keyboard and/or special control units
  • Monitor.

Technical: the TARSIM system is composed of two Radstone VMEbus boards. Processing is performed by the PME-68-25 processor board which has a PEX3 Interface for disk control.
The communication with the outside world is provided by a PME-SI0-3 board with an eightfold serial interface. The display driver is a graphics board that
can generate many different video formats under control of software (XYCOM XVME-301). Finally, the target generator board was developed and produced by TNO-FEL.

Characteristics of TARSIM:

  • The system can simulate realistic radar targets.
  • The system can work with both a working radar system and simulate the entire radar system.
  • The radar features are programmable.
  • Permanent data storage of programmable initial menus and working memory.
  • Ease of operations.
  • Low cost.
  • Small dimensions and low weight.
TARSIM control
TARSIM control


TARSIM control unit