Professor Mal Heron is Chief Researcher in the Marine Geophysical Laboratory at James Cook University in Townsville, Australia. His PhD work in Auckland, New Zealand, was on radio-wave probing of the ionosphere, and that is reflected in his early ionospheric papers. He changed research fields to the scattering of HF radio waves from the ocean surface during the 1980s. Through the 1990s his research has broadened into oceanographic phenomena which can be studied by remote sensing, including HF radar and salinity mapping from airborne microwave radiometers . Throughout, there have been one-off papers where he has been involved in solving a problem in a cognate area like medical physics, and paleobiogeography. Occasionally, he has diverted into side-tracks like a burst of papers on the effect of bushfires on radio communications. His present project of the Australian Coastal Ocean Radar Network (ACORN) is about the development of new processing methods and applications of HF radar data to address oceanography problems. He is currently promoting the use of high resolution VHF ocean radars, based on the PortMap high resolution radar.
Lecture 1: The Physics of Coastal Ocean Radars.
The principles behind the technology of HF ocean radar, suitable for undergraduates and graduates in physics or engineering. This lecture is suitable as a cameo in a regular course on electromagnetics or instrumentation. It includes background on Bragg scatter and signal processing; it reviews the different techniques of phased array antennas, cross loop antennas, and antenna phasing to determine directions. A brief review of surface gravity waves leads to the extraction of ocean parameters and the lecture concludes with some examples of applications and oceanographic results.
Lecture 2: Coastal Ocean Radars: Results and Applications.
Delivered at a level suitable for a technical audience.
A descriptive overview of the Australian Coastal Ocean Radar Network is given with some background about how sites are selected and configured. A suite of results and applications emanating from the ACORN network is presented, including Lagrangian Tracking; assistance to management in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park; assistance in the salvage of a grounded ship; and the observation of cold fronts in the Sothern Ocean.
Lecture 3: Observing the Dynamic Ocean.
This has the same description as Lecture 2, but is delivered at a level for a general audience.