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Experience with Shipborne Measurement of Surface Current Fields by HF Radar

Oceanography (ISSN 1042-8275), Vol 10, No 2, pp. 82...84, 1997.
Abstract - - Oceanographic research using HF radar techniques started in Germany in 1980 by adapting NOAAs CODAR (COastal raDAR), which has originally been introduced by Barrick et al. in 1977. In Germany, the CODAR has been modified and used during several experiments since 1981. From 1985 to 1992, the University of Hamburg CODAR has been extended for shipborne operation. The first experiment has been carried out on board the German icebreaker Polarstern, which most of the time has been sailing within the ice, far away from open water. The main result of this experiment was, that the attenuation of icecovered sea reduces the performance and working range extremely. Good mesurements have only been possible with the ship sailing at the ice edge or in open water. However, this application did not need an icebreaker, so the following experiments have been carried out using the University of Hamburg R/V Valdivia.

The intention for operating the CODAR onboard a ship was to enable the measurement of surface current fields in front of the rough Norwegian coast, where the combination of a land based and a shipborne CODAR has been used during the NORCSEX'88 experiment (Essen et al.,1989), and on the open sea at the ice edge and at the Arctic Front. There are several difficulties to be solved for successful measurements of surface current fields from a slowly sailing ship, which will be discussed in the following sections. Finally, some results of a measurement campaign at the Arctic Front are shown. A more complete discussion of the shipborne CODAR can be found in Gurgel (1993) and Gurgel (1994).
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