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Formby radar site

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Formby radar receiver antennas
Formby radar receiver antennas
Site description
The Formby radar site is at 53°32.5'N, 3°5.5'W on land owned by Sefton Borough Council. The site is open shore with high sand dunes and a long flat beach at low water and is managed by Rangers from Ainsdale Visitor Centre. The area is home to sand lizards and rabbits and is an open access area for the public. Care has been taken to ensure that the radar equipment is as unobtrusive as possible.

Radar layout
The 16 receive (Rx) antennae are on the edge of the sand dunes, and almost on the beach surrounded by cherry paling fencing. The 4 transmit (Tx) antennae are actually on the sand dunes .4 km N and 11m above the Rx antennae and the cabin housing the controlling equipment is between the two.

The Rx antennae are in a line array aligned 321.7 degrees from N, making the boresite (90 degrees perpendicular to the array) 231.7 degrees. Data are recorded every 20 minutes but only the hourly values are transmitted back to NOC for display on the internet.

Site problems
- sand inundation overtopping sensors and fences
- power surges causing potential hardware problems
- rabbit burrowing damaging cables
- poor sea surface coverage due to angle of array with respect to the beach
- potential signal distortion due to shore drying out at low water

Formby aerial view
Aerial view showing extensive sandbanks
Operational frequencies
Time past hourFrequency
00 mins12.450 MHz
20 mins12.465 MHz
40 mins12.435 MHz

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