Coastal Radar - Scandinavian cooperation in the Skagerrak

SMHI is installing a high frequency coastal radar system at two sites along the coast of Bohus -Måseskär and Väderöarna. The radar system will measure surface currents in the Skagerrak and will also be used to discover or locate vessels.

Kustradarinstallation Foto Magnus Wenzer, SMHI

Coastal radars can provide detailed information about the direction and speed of water on the sea surface. This information provides important input for work concerning the ocean environment, transports, oil spills and search and rescue actions.


Currents at the sea surface
Detailed information about the currents at the sea surface can be obtained with the help of coastal radars. The colours of the arrows indicate the current speed, according to the scale at the top. This diagram gives an example of the field data before all calibration has been carried out.

“Data from the system is received once an hour and provides information on the current situation. Data will also be assimilated into models for ocean currents. An investigation will also be made to compare the high frequency radar information with data from satellite pictures”, says Johan Kronsell, project manager and oceanographer at SMHI.

The radar system, which has been rented from the American company CODAR, will be evaluated over a period of 6 months.

Illustration of the coastal radar installation

Contribution from several partners

The coastal radar system is part of a project called SOROS (Scandinavian Ocean Radar Observation System). SOROS is partly financed by EU funds from Interreg IV A Öresund Kattegat Skagerrak as well as with funds from the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management.

The project is managed by SMHI in cooperation with Denmark’s meteorologiske institute (DMI) and Norway’s Meteorologisk institutt (MetNo).

Data from the coastal radar system will also be used by the SARACUS project (Using Satellite data and coastal HF radar to map and validate sea surface currents and to detect ships in Skagerrak). Here the radar data will be used to validate data from satellites. SMHI participates in this project together with Chalmers University of Technology and the Swedish Defence Research Agency. External financing for SARACUS is provided by the Swedish National Space Board.

As soon as the installation of the radar system is complete, the data will be available on SMHI’s website, THEME: Marine Environment.

The SOROS project would especially like to thank everyone on Måseskär and Väderöarna for all their help with the installations.