WERA HF ocean radar systems are presently operating at several locations across Australia: in the South Australian Gulf - South Australia (Cape Spencer and Cape Wiles), in the Rottnest Shelf - Western Australia (Fremantle and Guilderton) and in Coffs Harbour - New South Wales (Red Rock and North Nambucca). A fourth node operated in Queensland until April 2017, Capricorn Bunker Group (Tannum Sands and Lady Elliot Island), when it was decommissioned to be relocated to the northwest shelf region of Western Australia.
Coastal ocean surface radar is a land-based technique, which uses scattering from the rough sea surface to obtain echoes, which are Doppler shifted by the dynamics of the sea. Sea echo data contains information on ocean surface currents, wind direction and sea-state parameters such as significant wave height, wave direction and wave period. While surface currents are generally the data of most interest, and which are easy to retrieve for both direction-finding and phased-array systems, the latter can provide sea-state and wind direction maps at each grid point and a calculation of the full directional wave spectrum at ranges of up to about half the maximum range. Until recently, sea water velocity data (both real-time and delayed) was the only data available on the Australian Ocean Data Network (AODN) Portal , however we are now providing both wave and wind data in delayed-mode using a dedicated software developed by the University of Sheffield.
A series of factors contribute to a successful retrieval of wave information, such as: the operating frequency and the presence of matching ocean waves, the signal-to-noise ratio, the bandwidth and the presence of interference sources; the geometrical configuration of the system and the number of receive elements.
These data collections can be discovered on the AODN Portal by selecting the “WERA beam forming HF radar” under the platform facet, and then further selecting the appropriate wave or wind parameter.