Ocean Science Journal

, Volume 48, Issue 1, pp 99–103 | Cite as

Temporal and spatial resolution of HF ocean radars

  • Malcom L. HeronEmail author
  • Daniel P. Atwater


The spatial and temporal resolutions of the two main types of HF radar are compared, with reference to the phasedarray and the crossed-loop direction-finding systems which make up the Australian Coastal Ocean radar Network. Both genres use a swept frequency “chirp” modulation to define the range of a pixel being observed but the method for determining the azimuth direction of the pixel is a strong point of differentiation. The phased-array systems produce independent maps of surface currents in about 1/7 of the time for the crossed-loop systems because of contrasting noise performance of the antennas. The use of beam-forming analysis in the phased-arrays is shown to give spatial resolutions, for vector currents, of about 10 km close to the shore, and 25 km at ranges of 150 km. The corresponding vector current spatial resolutions for the crossed-loop systems are 40 km and 60 km respectively.

Key words

HF ocean radar spatial resolution temporal resolution surface current maps phased-array crossed-loop 


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Copyright information

© Korea Ocean Research & Development Institute (KORDI) and the Korean Society of Oceanography (KSO) and Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ACORN, TropWATER and AIMS@JCUJames Cook UniversityTownsvilleAustralia

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