Northern Russia, offshore Brazil, the Gulf of Mexico—these are just some of the places where Rutter Inc.’s radar technology products are in demand. While the St. John’s-based company is small, with 33 employees globally, the firm has carved out a niche in the oil and gas business with radar technology that detects oil spills, icebergs, unidentified vessels and small objects and monitors waves and sea conditions. “We want to have as many products on our roster as we can offer, especially with the oil and gas industry in a slump,” says Blair Wheaton, Rutter’s vice president.
Incorporated in 1998, Rutter didn’t start out catering to the oil and gas industry. The company’s primary product in those days was selling ‘black box’ recorders for ships. But about nine years ago the company decided it wanted to diversify and put a greater focus on research and development of radar technology.
Radar, short for radio detection and ranging, has been around since the 1880s. It involves transmitting an intermittent radio wave and receiving reflections of that wave from nearby objects. Rutter decided to get into the radar business when it acquired Sigma Engineering and its sigma S6 technology. The technology was developed and deployed for the Hibernia production platform to detect icebergs.