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Best practices in Deployment and Operation: Capacity Building Lucy R Wyatt ACORN, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia 1 GEO HF radar meeting,

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Presentation on theme: "Best practices in Deployment and Operation: Capacity Building Lucy R Wyatt ACORN, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia 1 GEO HF radar meeting,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Best practices in Deployment and Operation: Capacity Building Lucy R Wyatt ACORN, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia 1 GEO HF radar meeting, Bergen, Norway, June 2013

2 This presentation is not intended to be the definitive statement on best practices in deployment and operation of HF radar systems. This is an attempt to get discussion going on these issues with a view to sharing experiences and, from that, identify best practices to aid future installers and operators of HF radar systems and networks What follows is the ACORN experience 2 GEO HF radar meeting, Bergen, Norway, June 2013

3 The ACORN Team Director: Lucy Wyatt Data Manager: Arnstein Prytz Senior Research Officers (who, amongst other things, do all the on site maintenance work): Dan Atwater Paul Lethaby Admin: Robyn Nickalls Emeritus: Mal Heron Site Caretakers 3 GEO HF radar meeting, Bergen, Norway, June 2013

4 What were the main issues during the installation phase? Site Selection and Approvals Radar choice Environmental Concerns – electromagnetic Environmental Concerns – impacts on ground, plants, animals, views Power Communications 4 GEO HF radar meeting, Bergen, Norway, June 2013

5 Site Selection and Approvals Site short-list via Google-Earth gives preferred options; site visits confirm selection. Technical selection was not a problem for any site for either radar system. Great Barrier Reef - Minimal delays with site approvals; 18-month delay at ACMA (frequency license approvals) Turquoise Coast - No delays. SA Gulfs - First option Kangaroo Island inaccessible; second option Cape Spencer had some delays (National Park). Cape Wiles had no delay. Rottnest - Fremantle had long approvals delay (Fremantle City Council); Guilderton no delays. Bonney Coast - First option Cape Douglas had expensive power; second option Blackfellows Caves had no delays; Nora Creina had no delays. Coffs Harbour - Extensive delay in site approval (NSW LPMA) 5 GEO HF radar meeting, Bergen, Norway, June 2013

6 Radar Choice ACORN wanted to provide Australian researchers with the opportunity to see both phased array and direction finding radars in action hence IMOS funded 2 WERAs and 2 SeaSondes. Surface current measurement is the primary purpose of all systems. Two sites were funded separately and, at these, wave measurement was also a requirement so WERAs were purchased. In most cases long range, to at least 150km, was a requirement. 6 GEO HF radar meeting, Bergen, Norway, June 2013

7 7 ACORN WERA at Fremantle and Guilderton Transmit antenna Receive antenna Equipment rack and man at work GEO HF radar meeting, Bergen, Norway, June 2013

8 ACORN SeaSonde in Seabird, WA Photos by Dan Atwater 8 Transmit antenna Receive antenna Equipment rack GEO HF radar meeting, Bergen, Norway, June 2013

9 Environmental Concerns - electromagnetic ACMA licences come with a self-regulatory requirement to operate within the Australian Standard. ACORN uses: manufacturers specifications; calculated radiation field strengths; field measurements with calibrated equipment. All ACORN stations comply. ACORN/IMOS had to deal with one complaint/allegation that radiation is causing sickness to a neighbour. 9 GEO HF radar meeting, Bergen, Norway, June 2013

10 Environmental Impacts Environmental impact assessments are obtained where necessary for site approval. The main impacts are: Trampling of vegetation during installation Clearing of vegetation for station dongas (containers). These impacts are remedied by paying vegetation offsets where required. Ultimate removal of stations will not be unduly expensive because: Cables are shallow buried or laid on the surface in conduit. Dongas do not have foundations but are staked down to the ground. 10 GEO HF radar meeting, Bergen, Norway, June 2013

11 Power and communications Lady Elliot Island (Qld) station runs on island resort power, which fluctuates and has many short drop-outs. Cape Wiles (SA) runs on solar plus diesel, and is the most expensive. Tannum Sands (Qld) uses copper wire communications. All other stations use mains power and broadband phone (3G) communications. Communication bandwidth is expensive and is limited at most sites so operational wave measurement is not yet possible. 11 GEO HF radar meeting, Bergen, Norway, June 2013

12 Operations, monitoring and maintenance Automatic emails reporting on changes in status of stations and computer systems. Daily (during the working week) manual (at the moment) monitoring of all sites using mix of manufacturers and ACORN- developed web interfaces. Web-based database of incidents and actions. Site caretakers with varying levels of expertise, first port of call for problem solving. 3-4 monthly site visits for routine maintenance and data download. Trouble-shooting visits as needed and resources allow. 12 GEO HF radar meeting, Bergen, Norway, June 2013

13 Main operational issues Distance to and between sites. E.g. to get from Townsville to Bonney Coast, SA – plane to Brisbane, plane to Melbourne, plane to Mt Gambier and nearly 24 hours! and you have to get back. Calibration: Seasonde and WERA Power outages and communication failures Air-conditioning – some sites experience very high temperatures Radar system robustness – anything that can go wrong, will Security 13 GEO HF radar meeting, Bergen, Norway, June 2013

14 Security Until 2012 we had experienced no break-ins or damage to dongas; Since then our FRE (WA) donga has been broken into once, small items were stolen and the radar was doused with our fire extinguisher. Fortunately a good clean up solved the problem. A second attempted break in failed because we have installed much stronger locks. But the lock was damaged and getting in ourselves took time! The exterior wall of our GUI (WA) donga has been used as an outside toilet. Easily dealt with but very unpleasant. We have experienced some interference/wilful and storm damage to antennas. Site insurance is under the umbrella of JCU. 14 GEO HF radar meeting, Bergen, Norway, June 2013


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