Calibration and validation of high frequency radar for ocean surface current mapping
Kim, Kyung Cheol
Paduan, Jeffrey D.
Ramp, Steven R.
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High Frequency (HF) radar backscatter instruments are being developed and tested in the marine science and defense science communities for their abilities to sense surface parameters remotely in the coastal ocean over large areas. In the Navy context, the systems provide real-time mapping of ocean surface currents and waves critical for characterizing and forecasting the battle space environment. In this study, the performance of a network of four CODAR (Coastal Ocean Dynamics Application Radar) SeaSonde HF radars, using the Multiple Signal Classification (MUSIC) algorithm for direction finding, is described for the period between July to September 2003. Comparisons are made in Monterey Bay with moored velocity observations, with four radar baseline pairs, and with velocity observations from sixteen drifter deployments. All systems measure ocean surface current and all vector currents are translated into radial current components in the direction of the various radar sites. Measurement depths are 1 m for the HF radar-derived currents, 12 to 20 m for the ADCP bin nearest to the surface at the M1 mooring site, and 8 m for the drifter-derived velocity estimates. Comparisons of HF radar-M1 mooring buoy, HF radar-HF radar (baseline), and HF radar-drifter data yield improvements of - 1.7 to 16.7 cm/s rms differences and -0.03 to 0.35 correlation coefficients when measured antenna patterns are used. The mooring comparisons and the radar-to-radar baseline comparisons indicate angular shifts of 10Ê» to 30Ê» for radial currents produced using ideal antenna patterns and 0Ê» to 15Ê» angular shifts for radial currents produced using measured patterns. The comparisons with drifter-derived radial currents indicate that these angular biases are not constant across all look directions, even though the local antenna pattern distortions were taken into account through the use of measured antenna patterns. In particular, data from the SCRZ and MLNG radar sites show varied pointing errors across the range of angles covered.
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