The INPEX Ichthys Explorer platform is the largest semi-submersible in the world. It measures 130m by 120m and is located in 250m of water at the edge of the continental shelf about 200km off the northwest coast of Australia.
EEC won the contract to install its latest C band dual polarization weather radar on the platform. There are two main functions of the radar. Firstly to provide early warning of the approach of tropical cyclones. Weather radar is the primary tool used to track severe tropical cyclones. The radar has an effective range of 300km or so and provides early warning of the approach and track of an impending severe weather event. Secondly it will be used to monitor weather impacting on helicopter operations from the mainland to the platform.
The new radar is of great strategic importance in the national tropical cyclone monitoring and warning program operated by the Bureau of Meteorology. All its weather radars are located on the coast and access to this radar located 200km out to sea provides additional critical early warning data. This benefits all of the communities in northwest Australia and all of the offshore oil and gas explorers and miners as well as INPEX.
The Bureau is currently arranging to access the INPEX radar data which will be output by EEC from its EDGE operating system in an internationally recognised format and transmitted to the Bureau by a secure communications system operated by INPEX.