Codar Ocean Sensors

Codar Ocean Sensors

CODAR Ocean Sensors, located in Mountain View, California, conducts research, design, manufacturing and support of high frequency (HF) radar systems primarily for ocean current and wave monitoring. CODAR founders began working in the field of HF radar as early as the 1960`s. In 1968, Donald Barrick (future co-founder and President of CODAR Ocean Sensors) established the theoretical basis of HF sea scatter that allows both current extraction as well as sea state monitoring. During the early 1970s, Barrick and others, working in the U.S. Department of Commerce (NOAA) research laboratories, demonstrated the utility and accuracy of these measurements with large phased array radars. Staff at CODAR Ocean Sensors are the world’s experts in HF radar theory and system design. Our company has produced approximately 80% of all HF radars ever built worldwide, with a total operating time of over 2,000,000 hours.

Company details

1914 Plymouth Street , Mountain View , California 94043 USA
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Business Type:
Industry Type:
Water Monitoring and Testing
Market Focus:
Globally (various continents)

This company also provides solutions for other industrial applications.
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From then until 1984, Barrick led a research team within NOAA's Wave Propagation Laboratory that demonstrated the feasibility and accuracy of smaller, transportable, HF radars for real-time current mapping to distances 60 km from shore. In 1984 the core team that invented these systems left the Government to eventually form what became CODAR Ocean Sensors CODAR , developing low-CODAR t commercial versions. Over the past 30 years, hundreds of journal papers have appeared that explain the techniques and establish accuracies by independent comparisons.

The CODAR design of the 1980's has been improved upon over the last 20 years and is now replaced with the SeaSonde®. The SeaSonde is the only commercially available HF radar system with a proven track record and stands at the forefront of precision current measurement and ease of utility. Designed and built by CODAR Ocean Sensors, the SeaSondes have a small antenna footprint, low power output and 360 degree possible viewing angle which minimizes siting constraints and maximizes coverage area. They can be remotely controlled from a central computer in your office and set for scheduled automatic data transfers. The SeaSonde is ideal for fine scale monitoring in ports and small bays, as well as open ocean observation over larger distances up to 70 km. For extended coverage, the Long-Range SeaSonde can observe currents as far as 200 km offshore.

Hardware and software design that have been continually improved upon over the last 30 years allows the SeaSonde high quality data output, with robust field performance and user-friendly software making it both convenient and affordable for a wide variety of users and applications.

Historical Timeline of HF Radar

  • 1955: Crombie discovers experimentally that Bragg scatter produces strong HF sea echo to first order.
  • 1966: Barrick enters field of HF radar.
  • 1968-1972: Barrick derives/publishes quantitative solutions for first & second order sea scatter.
  • 1969-1973: Barrick at NOAA (U.S. Dept of Commerce), with Scripps & Stanford, use HF phased arrays on San Clemente Island to validate theories behind HF current and wave measurements.
  • 1973-1983: Barrick leads team at NOAA to develop more practical alternatives to large HF phased arrays for coastal current and wave monitoring. Patents were filed and over 100 papers published on CODAR concepts within government.

Historical Timeline of the Company and the SeaSonde

  • 1984: Barrick and key staff within NOAA leave to form CODAR company to commercialize HF radar for use by others.
  • 1986: CODAR Ocean Sensors, Ltd. officially founded.
  • 1983-1988: Over 13 first-generation CODARs sold that employ compact crossed-loop system and direction finding.
  • 1983-1988: CODAR technology adapted and tested on North Sea offshore oil rigs.
  • 1988-1992: Second-generation SeaSonde and WaveSonde units designed that:
    • Are more compact than older CODAR
    • Are much more efficient and versatile, but lower-power signal wave form.
    • Employ desktop PC for data acquisition/processing in place of minicomputer.
    • CODAR t half the price of the older CODAR* 1992: First SeaSondes and Offshore WaveSonde sold.
  • 2002: 100th CODAR SeaSonde unit built and sold worldwide.
  • 2006: Company celebrates it's 20th Anniversary in business.