Increasing radar coverage across Australia

We're installing 8 new dual-polarised Doppler radars in:

  • New South Wales
  • Queensland
  • the Northern Territory.

This increases radar coverage across Australia by more than 550,000 square kilometres. It complements existing systems used to observe our weather. 

Community benefits and funding

Improved services

Dual-polarised Doppler radars are one of the best tools for everyone to observe real-time rainfall and wind across large areas.

They're a key part of our observation network,along with:

  • satellites
  • upper atmosphere observation equipment
  • automatic weather stations.

Information from the network supports major businesses in sectors such as:

  • farming
  • mining
  • transport.

It helps them to make better decisions. For example, when:

  • preparing for severe weather
  • moving stock
  • using chemicals such as fertilisers
  • sowing and harvesting.

The network provides vital data for our forecasts. New radars mean more accurate and reliable data, which helps improve forecast accuracy for everyone. 

Radar funding

Funding arrangements for the new radars vary by location.

  • New South Wales radars are funded by the NSW Government.
  • Queensland radars are funded by the Australian Government.
  • The Northern Territory radar is funded jointly by the Australian Government and the Northern Territory Government as part of the Barkly Regional Deal.

Construction process

Each radar project is unique. Many factors can affect the delivery timeline. For example, severe weather and COVID-19 restrictions.

Typically, it takes 20–24 months from the start of the project until the radar begins operating. We let the local community know if there are delays.

Site selection
Selecting the right site is complex. We consider factors such as:
  • lines of sight, now and into the future
  • obstructions
  • access to power and data communications
  • land ownership
  • other local concerns
Design and construction
  • Building approvals gained.
  • Components ordered and delivered.
  • Site designs created.
  • Foundations laid.
Key components are installed, including the:
  • mast
  • antenna
  • radome - the ball-style antenna covering
  • radar cabinet.
We test and check data quality to confirm the radar is operating properly.
Any outages or unforeseen issues are addressed.
Go live
The radar begins recording data. This is delivered to Australians through:

More radar project details

For the location, status and timing of all of our current observation network projects, see our Current projects page.