Upon completing this chapter, you should be able to do the
1. Identify radiation and other types of hazards possibly
encountered when maintaining and operating radars.
2. Identify safety precautions when encountering radiation
As a Fire Controlman, and a possible work-center
supervisor, you not only need to understand radar
systems and their components and associated equip-
ments, but you also need to understand the basic
safety requirements associated with operating radar
This chapter discusses in detail the radiation
hazards applicable to radar maintenance and opera-
tion. Refer to Fire Controlman, Volume 1, Admin-
stration and Safety, for discussions on additional
safety items that also apply to radar, such as measur-
ing voltage on energized equipment, using protective
equipment, following proper tag-out procedures, and
identifying radio-frequency (RF) hazards.
Much of your radar gear (if labeled correctly)
will have radiation hazard (RADHAZ) warnings
attached. These labels indicate a radiation hazard that
may produce RF electromagnetic fields intense
enough to actuate electro-explosive devices, cause
spark ignition of volatile combustibles, or produce
harmful biological effects in humans.
You will probably not be able to eliminate all the
hazards caused by normal operation of your radar
equipment. Therefore, you will need to minimize
them during certain evolutions. The most effective
way to reduce radiation hazards is to shut down equip-
ment when possible or to locate equipment so that
radar main beams do not illuminate ordnance, person-
nel, or fuels.
Electromagnetic Radiation Hazards (Hazards to
Ordnance), NAVSEA OP 3565, requires each com-
manding officer to establish procedures for main-
taining positive control of RF transmitting equipment
and to coordinate the actions of personnel working
near emitters or handling ordnance. By instruction, no
one may turn on any transmitting equipment without
proper authorization from the supervisor in charge of
operations. That means that you need permission to
operate, test, rotate, or radiate electronic gear.
Each command has an emissions control (EM-
CON) bill that establishes the level of EMCON
required during certain types of operations. The EM-
CON bill identifies the equipment to be secured while
each EMCON level is set. Label your radar equipment
according to your EMCON bill to make identification
easy and to provide for timely shutdown.