Data Return Aspects of CODAR and WERA High-Frequency Radars in Mapping Currents

  • Yonggang LiuEmail author
  • Clifford R. Merz
  • Robert H. Weisberg
  • Benjamin K. O’Loughlin
  • Vembu Subramanian
Part of the Springer Oceanography book series (SPRINGEROCEAN)


Two types of high-frequency (HF) radar systems, long-range CODAR SeaSonde and medium-range WERA, are concurrently operated on the West Florida Coast for the purpose of observing coastal ocean currents and waves. In this chapter, we examine the data return aspect of HF radar performance, using radial currents measured with the CODAR SeaSonde and WERA systems at the same site origin – Venice, Florida. Based on the data collected during February 2 – 5 March, 2014, our analysis revealed that the two HF radar systems exhibited complicated data return variations in both the spatial and temporal domains. Even though data return was generally higher near the site origin rather than in the outer band of the offshore radar footprint, it was unevenly distributed across the bearing angles. The long-range CODAR tended to have more data return in the northern half of its footprint, while the medium-range WERA’s data return was more evenly distributed across the bearing angles. Both radar systems exhibited diurnal and synoptic variations in data return; however, the peak performance hours differed. The 4.90 MHz CODAR system tended to have a higher data return during the daytime hours, while the 12.58 MHz WERA system tended to return more data during nighttime hours. The CODAR system exhibited increased data return performance during the conditions of high sea state, while the WERA system’s performance did not exhibit an obvious sea state relationship with waves measured using an offshore Waverider buoy.



The University of South Florida (USF) COMPS operates along the Gulf of Mexico’s West Florida Coast and was implemented in 1977 as a State of Florida legislative initiative. The COMPS program receives partial support from the Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association (SECOORA) through the US IOOS Office operated by NOAA (Award No. NA11NOS0120033). WERA HF Radar equipment was originally acquired with USF internal R&D funds. Partial support was also provided by NASA Ocean Surface Topography Science Team (OSTST) (# NNX13AE18G). Ocean wave data were furnished by the Coastal Data Information Program (CDIP), Integrative Oceanography Division, operated by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, under the sponsorship of the US Army Corps of Engineers and the California Department of Parks and Recreation. Wind data were downloaded from NOAA NDBC. This is CPR Contribution 48.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yonggang Liu
    • 1
    Email author
  • Clifford R. Merz
    • 1
  • Robert H. Weisberg
    • 1
  • Benjamin K. O’Loughlin
    • 1
    • 2
  • Vembu Subramanian
    • 3
  1. 1.College of Marine Science, University of South FloridaSt. PetersburgUSA
  2. 2.US Coast Guard AcademyNew LondonUSA
  3. 3.Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association (SECOORA)CharlestonUSA

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