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.

Left: Conceptual idea of a HF radar system Center: Surface current map fused with a temperature map. Right: HF radar installation in Galicia, Northern Spain

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.

HF radar applications to Search and Rescue

A new set of HF radar ocean observing data that enhances the ability to track probable paths of victims and drifting survivor craft should improve search and rescue efforts along our coasts. HF radar technology measures speed and direction of ocean surface currents in near real time, which Search and Rescue Agencies can then use to guide its operations with greater accuracy.

Sea surface temperatures and other relevant remotely sensed ocean data can be combined with HF radar real-time current information to provide critical decision-making tools to the SAR agencies such as survival likelihood, search area planning and transect plotting, and the identification of the most likely location of the target. 

Screenshots from USCG SAROPS. Left: search area without using HF radar data. Right: search area reduced by 2/3 when HF radar data used. Both after 96 h.

“The Coast Guard is continuously striving to enhance its Search and Rescue capabilities by obtaining the latest operational environmental products that NOAA has to offer. Better data means search efforts can be focused on smaller areas, saving more lives by allowing us to locate and assist distressed persons more quickly,” said Jack Frost US Coast Guard’s Program Manager for Search and Rescue Optimal Planning System.