Racon devices are used at sea to mark navigational hazards as RADAR targets for presentation on a ship navigational radar display. The word Racon comes from combining RAdar and beaCON.
The McMurdo Marine Systems HEKLEO-SX Racon is a frequency agile all-weather radar transponder that works on both "X" band (3cm wavelength), and "S" Band (10cm wavelength) frequencies.
A HEKLEO-SX Racon responds to a radar interrogation by transmitting a Morse code character which appears on the passing ships radar display. When HEKLEO-SX Racon receives a ships interrogating radar pulse, it responds with a return signal on the same Radar frequency, this results in a special Radar target image icon appearing on the ships radar display. The icon takes the form of a short line of dots and dashes forming a Morse character radiating away from the fixed position of the HEKLEO-SX Racon as indicated on the ships radar display. The length of the line usually corresponds to the equivalent of a few nautical miles on the display. Once the Morse letter is displayed on screen, the bearing and distance of the HEKLEO-SX Racon from the vessel can be observed.
Even when numerous radar returns clutter the radar display, a coded Racon icon trace is an unmistakable feature on the radar display and provides the means for accurate and positive identification of a hazard to navigation.