History, area description, interest of measured parameters
The high-frequency coastal radar system was installed in the Basque coast in 2009 and has been operating with no major interruptions since then. HF radar technology consists of delivering radio signals from the coast and subsequent analysis of the signal reflected by the sea surface. The signal is fed back to the antenna receptor via diffuse reflection caused by waves and currents. Once the signal is received and subjected to different analyses, time maps of ocean currents can be calculated. To obtain time maps of currents at least two radar stations must be available; and in the Basque Country they are located at Matxitxako and Higer capes.
The Basque Country system covers an area of 10,000 Km and time maps of currents generated contain total velocity vectors on a rectangular grid of 5 km resolution. Data provided by this system are highly valuable to know ocean surface circulation which is particularly complex and difficult to predict with accuracy in coastal areas. They represent a key opportunity for correct follow-up and integrated management of our coast, offering tools for improved control and forecast of key factors in search and rescue operations and in the dispersion/retention of floating objects (such as marine debris, and other pollutants.
Characteristics of antennas and parameters
Higer and Matxitxako radar stations each comprise two antennas (receiver and transmitter) set at a certain height above the sea surface and in two areas equipped with power supply and a suitable communication system. Both radar stations produce signals at a frequency centred at 5 MHz with a bandwidth of 40 KHz and 40 W average transmitted power. Signals reflected by waves are processed by each station PC and sea surface current data are submitted to the central station located in Vitoria where total sea current maps are processed.
Real Time Data (RTD)
Links of interest
CODAR (in Spain): http://www.qualitasremos.com/
EMODnet PHYSICS : www.emodnet-physics.eu/map