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  • Author or Editor: S. F. Heron x
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S. F. Heron
M. L. Heron


A comparison is made between three different but related algorithms for the extraction of rms wave heights from high frequency ocean backscatter radar spectra. All three methods are based on the ratio of second- to first-order energies as developed by Barrick, and each was scaled so that the mean values of the radar analysis results and the corresponding wave buoy data were zero. The rms difference between the radar wave heights and those from the buoy was taken as a measure of fit, and the recommended algorithm had an rms difference value of 7 cm. Barrick’s algorithm (after scaling), which uses a weighted second-order energy integral, performed marginally better than the others. The condition requiring wind directions other than close to orthogonal to the radar beam is retained in the recommended algorithm but is not evaluated because of sparsity of data. The algorithm for extraction of rms wave heights is validated against the buoy data over rms wave height ranges from about 0.2 to 0.7 m.

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