The WERA system transmit radio signals to the ocean. The conductivity of salty water at sea allows radio waves to travel following the earth's curvature without being hampered by rain or fog and reaching distances far beyond the visual horizon.
The radio waves are dispersed by the ocean waves and the roughness of the sea surface and captured again by the radar. The dispersion measured by the radar is processed to obtain maps of surface current speed, significant wave height and wind direction.
Compared with other measuring instruments such as drifters or ADCPs, the HF radar measures over large areas of the ocean, not just at one point. Furthermore, since these systems are installed on land at the coast, start up, monitoring and maintenance is much easier and less expensive.
The WERA system for ocean remote monitoring has the following applications: