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Portugal Starts Operational HF Radar Observing

September 2010

SeaSonde currents showed inside display screen of PORTUS BY QUALITASoceanographic information system.
SeaSonde currents showed inside display screen of PORTUS BY QUALITAS oceanographic information system.
T he deployment of two SeaSonde® HF Radars in the Sines area by the INSTITUTO HIDROGRÁFICO (IH) has been awarded to the engineering company QUALITAS. This system is part of the SIMOC project (, which has also the support of Sines Harbor Administration, and will monitor surface currents and waves in the southwest coast of Portugal.

The IH (Portuguese Hydrographic Office) is a state research laboratory, part of the Portuguese Navy, and is the main operational oceanographic institution in Portugal. Amongst its responsibilities is the establishment and maintenance of the national operational ocean observing network, which gives support to all Portuguese constituents along the its EEZ such as search and rescue activities, safe navigation and harbour operation.

The Sines area, positioned halfway between Lisbon and Algarve, was chosen as the first permanent HF Radar deployment area since it is one of the most sensible locations of the Portuguese coast, having a major petrochemical harbor, and directly to the south, a natural reserve (Natural Park of the Southwest of Alentejo). Environmental monitoring by means of HF radar is understood as a preventive action to improve safety along one of the heaviest ship traffic corridors in the world. The radar network will
complement the wave buoy deployed near the Sines Harbor (part of the national buoy network) as fixed monitoring systems, and allow a deeper knowledge of the circulation in this area.

Data retrieved by the system will be integrated into the PORTUS BY QUALITAS® oceanographic information system.

The radars will be operating from the Sines Harbor and Cape Sardão, these being the first two sites of the planned national network as foreseen in MONIZEE, the Portuguese Coast Monitoring Plan.

For more information regarding this project please contact:

Cte. Santos Fernandes of IH -
Pedro Agostinho of QUALITAS -



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