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About Racon

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A racon is a radar transponder commonly used to mark maritime navigational hazards. The word is a portmanteau of RAdar and beaCON. When a racon receives a radar pulse, it responds with a signal on the same frequency which puts an image on the radar display. This takes the form of a short line of dots and dashes forming a Morse character radiating away from the location of the beacon on the normal plan position indicator radar display. The length of the line usually corresponds to the equivalent of a few nautical miles on the display. Within the United States, the United States Coast Guard operates about 80 racons, and other organisations also operate them, for example the owners of oil platforms. Their use for purposes other than aids to navigation is prohibited, and they are used to mark: In other parts of the World they are also used to indicate: Their characteristics are defined in the ITU-R Recommendation M.824, Technical Parameters of Radar Beacons (RACONS). Racons usually operate on the 9320 MHz to 9500 MHz marine radar band (X-band), and most also operate on the 2920 MHz to 3100 MHz marine radar band (S-band). Modern racons are frequency-agile; they have a wide-band receiver

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