The equipment helps mapping meteorological, oceanic and environmental conditions. Either public or private initiatives may use its informations

A Japanese-made radar will help to monitor Guanabara Bay pollution, one of the most recognizable bays in the world, immortalized in songs and a symbol of Brazil’s natural wonders. The new equipment is set to monitor the flow of floating waste precisely and facilitate collecting such material.

“In the radar data, an oil spot, for example, and a cluster of waste show different reflections, and different from that of a tide,” said Arthur Ayres Neto, coordinator of the geophysics course at Fluminense Federal University (UFF), one of the institutions involved in the initiative. “The idea is to monitor and control this waste and develop highly efficient actions to tackle it,” he added.

Besides the UFF, researchers at the Alberto Luiz Coimbra Institute for Graduate Studies and Research in Engineering, at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (Coppe/UFRJ), took part in the developing the solution, baptized as X Band. The device measured 3.5-meter-width and was installed at 15-meter-high from the ground on the rooftop of the UFF’s Geosciences Institute, allowing a broad view of the region.

X Band emits electromagnetic wavelengths that propagate in water and are reflected from rocks, vessels, wastes among others, returning to the equipment. “The technology is the same as that of a conventional radar, like those in a ship. The difference is that this one has an extra layer, which is the system we’ve built,” said Arthur.


Since radars started operating just recently, developers are still studying how public and private organizations will access information generated by the equipment. One alternative would be making data available to bodies committed to cleaning the area. “Ibama (Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources), for example, can access the data, detect an oil spot and send a team right away to build a barrier and collect it before it spreads,” said Arthur.

The waste monitoring should be employed to reduce pollution’s environmental impact in the region between Ilha Rasa and the Rio-Niterói Bridge. Arthur points out that one of the radar’s benefits is to show the pollution that is not always visible in Guanabara waters and often goes unnoticed by waste collectors.

Content published in November 22, 2018

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