Qualitas Remos S.L. has been assigned by the University of Malta through an international tender to supply, install, commision and calibrate two HF radars, in Malta and Gozo respectively, to form part of the HF radar network for the monitoring of sea surface currents in real time in the stretch of sea between Malta and Sicily. CODAR SeaSonde HF Radar Technology will be used on its merits for compactness, operational experience and the high quality of the data acquisition. The first phase comprises the deployment of two radars along the Maltese coast together with a SeaSonde Central Site Data Management Platform, to be completed by the end of June 2012. The second phase comprises the installation of a third radar in Pozzallo Harbour on the southern Sicilian coast to be integrated in the same network.
Deliverables of the HF radar monitoring project in the first phase are:
- Real time polar surface currents map with a range of up to approximately 75 km subject to environmental conditions such as noise in the operating band or other and final antenna sitting
- Real time 2-D vector currents maps in the overlap area of two or more radar stations averaged across user-selectable, regularly scheduled intervals (e.g. 30 minutes, hourly, etc.)
- Estimates of significant wave height and other wave parameters (significant wave height, direction and period in annular crowns around the radar site)
- Metadata summarizing the system status
Combined to numerical models, the collected data are intended to primarily support applications to optimise intervention in case of oil spill response as well as endow tools for search and rescue, security, safer navigation, improved metro-marine forecasts, monitoring of sea conditions in critical areas such as proximity to ports, and better management of the marine space between Malta and Sicily.
The CALYPSO radar system includes state-of-the-art technology to extend the performance of the backscatter network through the use of bistatic processing software upgrade at the Malta radar site. This is intended to extend the area of coverage closer to the Maltese coastline as well as to add redundancy in the backscatter region, thereby increasing current measurement accuracy and robustness.
The project will train local personnel so as to enable them to fully participate and contribute directly in the installation, setting up and validation of the radars; the training is expected to be delivered by expert trainers, to reach highest standards, and to enable local staff in the autonomous operation of the system by the end of the project in April 2013.