Radar antenna within the Lewes dune
An 18-foot high-frequency radar station will shortly be set up in the dune between the two public parking lots on Lewes Beach.
The mayor and city council unanimously approved a proposal from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Association’s Coastal Ocean Observing System, a group affiliated with the University of Delaware.
The new unit is expected to be installed in May when it becomes part of an integrated ocean observation system used by 11 regional associations and 17 federal agencies, including NASA, NOAA, Coast Guard, Navy, Department of Transportation, and others.
“The real-time data from the HFR unit would benefit forecasting models and data products that directly aid US Coast Guard search and rescue, National Weather Service flood forecasting, NOAA navigation services to the Delaware pilot and seafaring community, and oil spill tracking from NOAA and other stakeholders in the Delaware Bay, ”said MARACOOS Managing Director Gerhard Kuska.
He said the data will also be used in ocean and coastal forecast models that support government operations, academic research and fisheries assessments.
MARACOOS has 41 stations with a frequency range from 5 MHz to 25 MHz from Cape Hatteras in North Carolina to Cape Cod in Massachusetts. There are two in Cape May, New Jersey, and one in Cape Henlopen State Park.
The addition of a second Lewes radar station is expected to more than double the radar network in Delaware Bay.
“I think it’s great that we can contribute in this way,” said Councilor Rob Morgan.
The University of Delaware antenna is placed in a limited area of the dune. It is anchored with removable stakes; It’s quiet and has no moving parts. It is wired to a device box that is installed behind the public toilet in the secondary beach car park. A trench is hand-dug to run the wire underground and no heavy machinery is used to install the antenna. The antenna can be removed within a few days if city officials later decide that it should be removed.
“I don’t see any disadvantage,” said Deputy Mayor Bonnie Osler.