Cross-border project uses High Frequency Radars to observe oceans in the Iberian Peninsula

Today INEGI hosted the consortium of a project that joins Northern Portugal and Galicia in the creation of a cross-border ocean observation network. Titled RADAR_ON_RAIA (High Frequency Radars at the RAIA Observatory), it aims to extend the existing oceanic observation infrastructures in Galicia to the entire northwestern part of the Iberian Peninsula.

“The High Frequency Radar network has been in operation since 2011 in Galicia, and the consortium intends to convert it into a cross-border observation infrastructure,” says Catarina Ribeiro, responsible for the project at INEGI. “With these resources we will improve knowledge of ocean dynamics at local and regional levels.”

And what is the use of oceanographic observation? Very varied, says Catarina Ribeiro. “Acquiring data about currents, wind and waves, for example, and monitoring coastal systems contributes to the development of more accurate weather and oceanographic forecasting models. Information on which to base decisions in various fields, such as marine energy resource management or maritime traffic management”. Having mechanisms and infrastructure to collect this information is therefore indispensable for many industries.

To this end, INEGI, together with nine other partners, is part of the consortium that will strengthen cooperation between the two regions.

INEGI is responsible for the creation of “a permanent network of onshore stations in the ports of Viana do Castelo, Leixões and Aveiro to monitor the meteorological conditions”, explains Catarina Ribeiro. The objective is, with the data collected at these stations, to complement the data obtained by the radar.

INEGI is also responsible for the “development of models for the assimilation of radar data and weather forecasts for the generation of real-time wind maps”, allowing the correction of weather forecasts and, consequently, the optimization of maritime activities.

In addition to physical infrastructure, a common management strategy on both sides of the border is under development, as well as the design of new maritime products and services.

Among the objectives of the project is the creation of tools that allow free access to information, and the dissemination to stakeholders from different economic areas that may benefit from it.

RADAR_ON_RAIA is funded under the INTERREG V-A Spain-Portugal Program (POCTEP) 2014-2020. The project is coordinated by CETMAR - Centro Tecnológico del Mar, and has an expected duration of 36 months, until 2021.

Universidade do Porto
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