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HF Radar WERA Application for Ship Detection and Tracking

European Journal of Navigation, Vol. 7 No. 3, pp. 18-25, December 2009.
Abstract - - High-Frequency (HF) radars are operated in the 3-30 MHz frequency band and are known to cover ranges up to several hundred k ilometers. Low power HF radar systems have been developed especially for oceanographic applications. They use electromagnetic surface wave propagation along the salty ocean. The WERA HF radar system transmits an average power of 30 watts but it achieves detection ranges up to 200 kilometers, which are far beyond the conventional microwave radar coverage. Due to external noise, radio frequency interference, and different kinds of clutter, special techniques of target detection using the WERA system have to be applied. For a 12-hour period HF radar data have been recorded and processed. The target locations detected by the HF radar using the proposed adaptive technique are passed to a tracking filter to track the ship position. In order to estimate the performance of the radar detection and tracking techniques, these ship locations are compared with the ship positions recorded by the Automatic Identification System (AIS).
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