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April 2016

Kingdom of Morocco Implements its First HF Radar System

Contributed by Direction de la Météorologie Nationale, Kingdom of Morocco
Maroc Meteo Royaume Du Maroc

Figure 1: HF Radar antenna in Casablanca (in the background, the Grande Mosquée Hassan II).
Figure 1: HF Radar antenna in Casablanca (in the
background, the Grande Mosquée Hassan II).

Figure 2: Canary Current and monitoring area of the HF Radar System in Casablanca and Temara
Figure 2: Canary Current and monitoring area of the HF Radar System in Casablanca and Temara

Figure 3: Maritime traffic along the Moroccan coast, a country with a strong industrial and traditional fishery sector.

Morocco, known for its rich cultural heritage and breathtaking natural landscapes, is also recognized as a reference in science and technology in Africa. Confirming this idea, the Direction de la Météorologie Nationale (DMN) (http://www.marocmeteo.ma), a public agency within the Ministry of Energy, Mines, Water & Environment of the Kingdom of Morocco and also a permanent member of the World Meteorological Organization, has made in April 2016 a relevant step towards compliance with its mandate of providing accurate and continuous marine weather and climate information. More specifically, it has made great improvements in 2D surface currents maps and wave data by starting the kingdom’s first operational coastal HF radar ocean observing system which monitors the marine conditions up to 200 km from the coast (figure 2).

The network has been installed by the Moroccan firm Qualitas (http://www.qualitasenv.com). The first HF radar station has been implemented in Casablanca Port (figure 1), on top of the Met Office building having a spectacular view of the sea and of the Grande Mosquée Hassan II which is the tallest and the second largest Mosque in the world. The second station is set on the premises of the Civil Protection in Temara (close to Rabat) taking advantage of the uniquely compact design of the chosen SeaSonde HF radar technology.

The new observing platform illuminates an area of large interest to the Moroccan society and also to the international community for the unique oceanographic= conditions and for the significant maritime traffic in the area (figure 3). The project shall be very beneficial to the Kingdom of Morocco, primarily to all activities related to:

Kingdom of Morocco Implements its First HF Radar System
Contributed by Direction de la Météorologie Nationale, Kingdom of Morocco

• Protection of the marine and coastal environment.

• Increased safety of navigation and efficiency in maritime rescues and various sea-related operations such as oil spill response preparedness.

• Meteorological assistance for the better planning and conduct of port operations and in support of a more acknowledged coastal management.

• Better understanding of the marine physical environment supporting the management of fisheries resources and coastal engineering in general

• The further improvement of the existing currents and waves nowcast and forecast.

2D currents and wave data obtained by the HF Radar system in Morocco, between Casablanca and Temara.
Figure 4: 2D currents and wave data obtained by the HF Radar system in Morocco, between Casablanca and Temara.

Morocco IT system scheme (HF Radar stations, central platform and software utilities).
Figure 5: Morocco IT system scheme (HF Radar stations, central platform and software utilities).

HF Radar training held in Casablanca during March 2016. There were five (5) training courses oriented to management, administration, operation, maintenance and R&D.
Figure 6: HF Radar training held in Casablanca during March 2016. There were five (5) training courses oriented to management, administration, operation, maintenance and R&D.

Special consideration has been paid by Maritime Department of the Met Office when choosing and implementing the new technology to all activities that influence the long-term sustainability and short-term utility of such a project. So for instance.

•The highest quality, easiness of use and reliab iity of the chosen technology.

•The implementation of the most advanced global QA/QC methods and system operation software tools (figure 4) implemented into a versatile redundant IT platform (figure 5) with an advanced architecture (2x1TB HD
software [mirroring] and 3x1TB HD data [RAID5]).

•The in-depth training and education (figure 6) of the department staff to fully assimilate all capabilities that are needed to integrate the new observational component with the other technologies and resources that are at present in application at the Met Office.


Relevant system specifications:

•HF radar sensor: SeaSonde 4.438 to 4.488 MHz

•Data management platform: Combine Suite® + PORTUS by Qualitas

•Range of 2D currents mapping: > 200 km

•Range of significant wave height: 1.5 to 20



For further information to the project contact:

Mr. Hassan BOUKSIM
Chef du Service de Météorologie Maritime
Direction de la Météorologie Nationale
BP 8106, Casa Oasis, Casablanca, Maroc
Tél: (00 212) 522 65 49 20
Fax: (00 212) 522 91 36 98








                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          




 

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