What is WERA?

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:

  • It provides data for scientific research institutions in different areas of oceanography.

  • It can be combined with oceanographic models, measurements from other instruments and / or weather stations to improve the forecast of different variables at sea.

  • Assist port authorities on navigation safety and traffic.

  • Allows to estimate the spreading of pollutants in case of spill (for example, oil tankers).

  • Supports search and rescue operations to optimize efforts by estimating the drift of man-over-board situations.

  • Tsunami arrival detection.

  • Estimation of larval transport and nutrients for protected natural areas or for the fishing industry.