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Working in the 5 to 20 Mhz frequencies the technology relies on the natural conductivity of sea water to send radio waves over the horizon, enabling it to see objects beyond the range of traditional detection devices. The Doppler shift that the system relies on are of the order of 0.2Hz so the design requirements and quality of the equipment are of the highest standard. The trial system used rather expensive DEC computing equipment to provide the considerable processing power required for this work. The antenna arrays used for the system are around 600-900m long.
The system can provide surveillance of more than 70,000 sq km in around 30 minutes, to cover the same area with patrol aircraft it takes around 4 hours and with patrol vessel it would take over 60 hours.
SWR capabilities include;
Economic Exclusion Zone Surveillance
Customs Operational Requirements
Illegal Immigration Surveillance
Search and Rescue
Confined Space Management
Oil Rig Monitoring
Defence Surveillance Needs