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Spatial Averaging of HF Radar Data for Wave Measurement Applications

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  • 1 Australian Coastal Ocean Radar Network, and Centre for Tropical Water and Aquatic Ecosystem Research, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, Australia, and University of Sheffield, and Seaview Sensing Ltd., Sheffield, United Kingdom
  • | 2 Australian Coastal Ocean Radar Network, and Centre for Tropical Water and Aquatic Ecosystem Research, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, Australia
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Abstract

HF radar data are often collected for time periods that are optimized for current measurement applications where, in many cases, very high temporal resolution is needed. Previous work has demonstrated that this does not provide sufficient averaging for robust wave measurements to be made. It was shown that improvements could be made by averaging the radar data for longer time periods. HF radar provides measurements over space as well as in time, so there is also the possibility to average in space. However, the radar data are correlated in space because of the range and azimuth processing. The implications of this are discussed and estimates of the impact on the reduction in variance in the radar Doppler spectral estimates are obtained. Spatial inhomogeneities and temporal nonstationarity in the ocean wave field itself also need to be taken into account. It is suggested that temporal averaging over periods of up to one hour and spatial averaging over 9–25 nearest neighbors may be suitable, and these will be explored in later work.

Corresponding author address: Lucy Wyatt, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville QLD 4811, Australia. E-mail: lucy.wyatt@jcu.edu.au

Abstract

HF radar data are often collected for time periods that are optimized for current measurement applications where, in many cases, very high temporal resolution is needed. Previous work has demonstrated that this does not provide sufficient averaging for robust wave measurements to be made. It was shown that improvements could be made by averaging the radar data for longer time periods. HF radar provides measurements over space as well as in time, so there is also the possibility to average in space. However, the radar data are correlated in space because of the range and azimuth processing. The implications of this are discussed and estimates of the impact on the reduction in variance in the radar Doppler spectral estimates are obtained. Spatial inhomogeneities and temporal nonstationarity in the ocean wave field itself also need to be taken into account. It is suggested that temporal averaging over periods of up to one hour and spatial averaging over 9–25 nearest neighbors may be suitable, and these will be explored in later work.

Corresponding author address: Lucy Wyatt, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville QLD 4811, Australia. E-mail: lucy.wyatt@jcu.edu.au
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