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Measurement of ocean wave spectra using narrow-beam HE radar

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2 Author(s)
Howell, R. ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Victoria Univ., BC, Canada ; Walsh, J.

A data interpretation algorithm is developed to extract ocean wave information from HF radar backscatter observed by a narrow-beam antenna system. The basis of this measurement is the inversion of the integral equation representing the second-order radar cross section of the ocean surface. This equation is numerically inverted by approximating it as a matrix equation and pseudoinverting the kernel matrix using a singular value decomposition. As a test of this algorithm, comparisons are made between wave spectrum estimates obtained from a WAVEC buoy and a pair of 25.4-MHz ground wave radars, using data collected during the 1986 Canadian Atlantic Storms Program (CASP). Overall, the results of this experiment have been positive and have demonstrated both the basic feasibility of the inversion algorithm and the wave sensing capability of HF radar. For example, significant wave height estimates deduced by two radars differed from the buoy, in an absolute value sense, by only 0.12 m on average. When using only one radar, the mean difference of this important parameter from the buoy was a reasonable 0.33 m

Published in:

Oceanic Engineering, IEEE Journal of  (Volume:18 ,  Issue: 3 )