The Impact of Sea State on HF Surface-Wave Radar Ship Detection and Tracking Performance


Nowadays, we face an ever increasing interest in new technologies and solutions for the maritime surveillance (MS) domain. In such a context, oceanographic high-frequency surface-wave (HFSW) radars have started to get significant attention. In fact, they are operated to provide remote sensing information of wide open-sea areas, but they may also contribute with useful cost-effective track-based information to current operational MS systems. In this paper, specific interest is devoted to the analysis of the system detection and tracking capabilities under different meteo-oceanographic (METOC) conditions. Experimental data are acquired by three HFSW radars operated by the Helmholtz Zentrum Geesthacht (HZG) at the German Bight, North Sea, within the Coastal Observing System for Northern and Arctic Seas (COSYNA). Here, they operationally retrieve continuous sea state and currents. In this work, ship reports from the Automatic Identication System (AIS) are the ground truth information used for evaluating HFSW radar system capabilities, while METOC data are directly acquired from COSYNA. Preliminary results are presented and discussed, together with outlines for future research.
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