Ocean Surface Currents Mapped by Radar

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Science  14 Oct 1977:
Vol. 198, Issue 4313, pp. 138-144
DOI: 10.1126/science.198.4313.138


A high-frequency radar remote-sensing system for measuring and mapping near-surface ocean currents in coastal waters has been analyzed and described. A transportable prototype version of the system was designed, constructed, and tested. With two units operating tens of kilometers apart, the currents were mapped in near real time at a grid of points 3 by 3 km covering areas exceeding 2000 kM2, out to a distance of about 70 km from the shore. Preliminary estimates of the precision of current velocity measurements show it to be better than 30 cm/sec.