WERA Northern Radar


WERA Northern Radar is an Oceanographic HF Radar providing simultaneous measurement of:

  • Surface currents maps
  • Ocean waves parameters and maps
  • Wind direction (wind speed under development)
These measured data are available
  • Over long distances (more than 200 km) and large areas with good temporal resolution (complete data set within less than 10 minutes)
  • with high spatial resolution (down to 250 m)
  • Feature List (Click here)
Principals of Operation
The WERA system (WavE RAdar) is a shore based remote sensing system using the over the horizon radar technology to monitor ocean surface currents, waves and wind direction (Gurgel, 1999). This long range, high resolution monitoring system operates with radio frequencies between 4 and 50 MHz. A vertical polarized electromagnetic wave is coupled to the conductive ocean surface and follows the curvature of the earth.

WERA NorthernRadar provide a lot of useful data for various applications. Typical users are:
  • meteorological institutes
  • coastal management (erosion, flooding, pollution, etc.)
  • port authorities & harbour management
  • environmental monitoring & research
  • oil & gas industries
  • oceanographic researchers
  • vessel traffic services (ship tracking is under development)
  • renewable energy providers (wind farm planning and management)
  • component for tsunami warning systems


For additional information on WERA please click on the following link to Helzelís website

The robust shore based system delivers reliable data even under extreme weather and dynamic ocean current conditions. This surface current image was taken during the passage of tropical storm Henri on the 5th of September 2003

Partial list of references

Coastal Radar "WERA", a tool for Harbour Management (pdf 761 KB) Thomas Helzel, Vincent Mariette, Marc Pavec, 2010.

HF Radar WERA Application for Ship Detection and Tracking (pdf 1,2 MB) Anna Dzvonkovskaya, Klaus-Werner Gurgel, Hermann Rohling, Thomas Schlick, 2009

Future Contribution of HF Radar WERA to Tsunami Early Warning Systems (pdf 1,3 MB) Anna Dzvonkovskaya, Klaus-Werner Gurgel, 2009

WERA Basics - Remote Ocean Sensing for Currents, Waves and Wind (pdf 837 KB) T. Helzel, M. Kniephoff, L. Petersen, 2006