BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — LSU gets $5M to build high-frequency radar systems along the Louisiana Coast. The $5M project, funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, will help the Louisiana Gulf Coast have high-quality information about currents, waves, and other important factors.

“Louisiana’s coast is a working coast that provides services and resources valuable to the entire nation, and it is also a coastal region that is changing environmentally due to a range of factors,” said Sam Bentley, LSU Department of Geology and Geophysics Professor Sam Bentley. “This HF radar network will provide valuable information to help us track and better understand oceanic and meteorological events. We are deeply grateful for the support we are receiving from NOAA with the assistance of Congressman Garret Graves, and we look forward to getting this going!”

According to a release from the university, the technology that is used in the radar system will be able to help with the measurement of surface currents and waves across the Louisiana coast.

The high-frequency radar system will allow researchers to measure currents over a large area of the coast and has the ability to function under different conditions. It will also be able to provide important information about Louisiana’s coastal conditions, according to a release from LSU.

“We have a large observational gap in the Gulf of Mexico, so this is very much needed. There is a huge potential to use these data in hurricane forecasts, navigation, marine safety, energy production, coastal restoration, and other effects,” said LSU Department of Oceanography & Coastal Sciences Professor, Kevin Xu.

The project is expected to be fully operational in about five years. Those taking charge of the project will be led by LSU professors, Xu and Bently.