WERA - HF SYSTEM NODE in the northern sector of the Adriatic Sea


The HF radar infrastructure in the Gulf of Trieste provides high-resolution maps of current, waves and winds for the HAZADR project. It constitutes the observing node for the north Adriatic region, as part of a wider Adriatic observing network that comprises a second observing node in the Split region, and is also part of a great number of HF radar networks being developed world wide for coastal ocean monitoring.

HF systems measure currents over large regions of the coastal oceans, at distances as large as 300 km offshore. Additionally, they can provide wave height data and wind maps, that can be used to improve navigation safety in the region. The HF systems deployed in the Gulf of Trieste and in the Split coastal region consist of two WERA systems manufactured by Helzel MessTechnik in Germany. They rely on the reflection of a short-duration (8 minutes) and low-power (below 20 Watts) harmless radio wave pulse from waves at the ocean surface which satisfy the Bragg-matching condition for coherent return, which is then interpreted to provide relevant oceanographic products.

Two systems are active in the Gulf of Trieste, one at the OGS facility in Aurisina (Figure 1), and the second in the urban area of Piran close to the St. George cathedral (Figure 2) - an area of high archeological importance in Slovenia, where they are incorporated in the existing fence.

The two systems operate at 25.525 MHz as regulated by the International Telecommunication Union and guarantee a full coverage of the Gulf of Trieste at a horizontal resolution of 1.5 km every 30 minutes. The systems are controlled through complex electronic units operated from the technicians at OGS (Figure 3) and NIB (Figure 4), where data are acquired, processed, archived and visualised in real-time. The acquired data are stored in the internal databases and are available for a variety of users, including research analyses and operational purposes as demanded from the disaster managing services and others.

HAZADR monitoring systems provide an innovative and operational product of help for decision makers and hazard mitigation agencies for a number of applications, including safety of navigation, rescue missions at sea, oil spill tracking and modelling, verification of ocean numerical models.

Figure 1. The biochemistry and biology laboratories within the Oceanography Section are located at theĀ  Santa Croce headquarters.

Figure 2. The receiving antennas are masked within the protecting fence on the top of the cliff

Figure 3 - Radar control electronics for the OGS station

Figure 4 - Radar control electronics for the Piran station

For more information please contact: S. Cosoli
Last update: October 15, 2015 -- Webmaster: R.Iungwirth