Shipboard Wave Measurement Through Fusion of Wave Radar and Ship Motion Data


  1. Stredulinsky, D.C.
  2. Thornhill, E.M.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Atlantic, Dartmouth NS (CAN)
DRDC Atlantic is considering shipboard wave measurement systems for use with seakeeping, slam warning and other ship operator guidance systems. Wave radars which extract wave information from the sea clutter in X-band navigational radar images have been found to provide reasonably accurate wave direction and frequency information but often inaccurate wave heights. A fusion algorithm has been developed which uses ship motion measurements to improve the accuracy of wave heights obtained from the wave radar. The method was tested with data collected using a WaMoS II wave radar processor during a sea trial on CFAV QUEST in January 2006 and in a sea trial aboard HMCS KINGSTON in March 2007. Application of the fusion algorithm to the QUEST data demonstrated promising results. During the HMCS KINGSTON sea trial the wave radar generally provided good wave period and direction measurements but poor wave heights (typically a factor of two or three times lower than heights measured with a wave buoy). While the wave fusion method considerably improved the wave height measurements for QUEST, the results were not as good for KINGSTON, and exhibited two to three times more scatter when compared to wave buoy data.

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Report Number
DRDC-ATLANTIC-TM-2008-254 — Technical Memorandum
Date of publication
01 Feb 2009
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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