The expansion of coastal HF Radar ocean observing networks worldwide together with increasing capabilities of ocean model forecasting are setting new standards in relation with oil spill trajectory confirmation and prediction. HF Radar provides high-resolution views of the surface currents in near real-time that are valuable in providing real-time and historical data.  When combined with modeled winds and tidal analysis methods, however, HF Radar can also provide oil trajectory nowcasts and short-term forecasts.  As a consequence, marine information systems and services are increasingly including these value-added data products into response operations.

CODAR Ocean Sensors is the world leading HF Radar manufacturer having at present more than 400 operative references. CODAR SeaSonde HF radar technology is a non-contact sensor that remotely measures high quality real-time ocean currents maps and waves parameter. CODAR SeaSonde HF radar is the only proven technology that provides you with years of real-time data over large coverage areas, with ranges of up to 200 km. As a complement to SeaSonde HF Radar the PORTUS by QUALITAS marine information system provides added value tools, data fusion and other integrated products that improve the quality of the measured data and help manage and take the most out of this information.

The QUALITAS Remos range of SeaSonde centered services include all activities that are needed to provide highest quality marine information over the years and are performed following ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 procedures. Our services start with consultancy works such as detail system implementation planning and permit management, we include the equipment delivery & installation and commissioning and finally, we many times end up providing efficient HF Radar operation services over the years. The activity is carried out by a specialized experienced international team of persons that work in partnership with CODAR Ocean Sensors Ltd and the end customers applying best world practices being an active member of the world leading HF Radar technical support network that exists around SeaSonde technology.


We describe below just some of the applications of HF radar to different oceanography related fields.

Coastal Management

The use of HF radar currents data helps to obtain a better management of coastal discharges. Effective management of wastewater discharges and non-point source pollution (runoff of urban and rural surface pollution into coastal waters) is crucial for preservation of fish, wildlife and aquatic life habitats, aesthetic value, and to prevent threats to public health due to contaminated food, drinking water supplies and recreational waterways. Knowing where urban, rural and discharged surface pollution goes is essential to understanding, managing and protecting our coastal oceans. Technologies like HF radar, combined with Internet delivery of data, are transforming management of beaches and near-shore waters, improving the environment, fisheries and public health.

 Ecosystem Management

The use of HF radar data for mapping, quantifying and understanding marine ecosystems is a important application with relevance to ecosystem-based management (EBM) and marine spatial planning (MSP). HF radar long-term monitoring of surface currents is used to track impacts on marine populations.

CeNCOOS uses information gathered by the High Frequency Radar (HFR) surface current mapping network to support Marine Protected Area (MPA) management in California.

To investigate the connectivity between central California marine protected areas (MPAs), back-projections were calculated using the network of high-frequency (HF) radar ocean surface current mapping stations operated along the California coast by the member institutions of the Coastal Ocean Currents Monitoring Program. By comparing the travel times of those back-projected track-points that crossed between MPA regions, the connection time between MPAs along the State’s central coast was assessed.  Repeating these calculations resulted in a connectivity matrix between the MPAs in the region. This information is very useful for assessing connectivity for the important invertebrate and fish larvae that are restricted to the surface ocean during a fraction of their lifecycle.

Just to outline another example, in Bodega Bay, California researchers are using HF radar-derived surface current data to obtain seasonal to annual information on ocean conditions that likely influence the survival rate of young salmon when they first enter the ocean.

 Climate change

Marine researchers say their study of ocean currents is shedding new light on global climate change. HF radar systems are a crucial backbone for these studies along the coast. Unlike buoys and ships, which collect information at single points and times, HF radar provides full, archived mapping, day and night, of our coastal waters to more than 200 Km offshore.

HF radar systems are extremely useful for the study of ocean eddies. In some parts of the ocean, like in the southern ocean, eddies are the only means by which heat is transported from the Equator to the South Pole. Therefore these eddies are playing a major role in generating climate variability according to different scientific studies performed by the Australian National University in Canberra.

Scientists says eddies in the southern ocean are the only means by which heat is transported from the equator to the south pole. (AFP: NASA)