||Rapid Response Service Goes
in Northern Norway
|Following the successful demonstration in September 2010 of the rapid
response SeaSonde for oil spill response, The Norwegian Clean Seas
Association for Operating Companies (NOFO) and the oil company
ENI NORGE AS have initiated a pilot service for monitoring surface
currents in the Barents Sea around the Goliat oil field, 60 km off the pristine
coast of the county of Finnmark.
Under the management of CodarNor A/S (led by Anton Kjelaas), three Low
Power SeaSonde Remote Units, each consuming less than 210 W average, have
been integrated into durable, lightweight shelters with autonomous, off-grid
power supplies consisting of a combination of fuel cell and solar panels.
In September of 2012, all three shelters were delivered to remote locations on
offshore islands via helicopter. With a crew of four and a helicopter pilot, all
three units were installed and operating in a little under 10 hours, including
transit time, with no more than 2.5 hours on the ground at any of the sites.
Built by Power Controls A/S, each shelter’s power system can be remotely
monitored and controlled in real-time via CDMA wireless data modem.
SeaSonde data products are also being provided in real-time via wireless
communications to NOFO and the Norwegian Meteorologic Institute for
incorporation into coastal ocean circulation and oil drift models. These
SeaSondes and shelters will be used in a six-month campaign for the Goliat
field with other deployments planned afterward. At any time they can be
rapidly relocated in case of a spill in a different area.
SeaSondes: The Ideal "Near-Field" Tsunami
|A special workshop at 2011 IEEE Oceans/MTS in Hawaii introduced and focused on a new term: "near-field" sensors at coastal areas that will be impacted by a tsunami. This is distinct from "far-field", which includes bottom DART-type pressure sensors and satellite altimetry, which observe hours before arrival at the coast. Data from the latter are used to refine the model forecasts, but are not enough. Near-shore bottom sensors or buoys in the coastal zone would not survive ravages of a passing tsunami. SeaSonde HF radars -- with no presence in the water -- are ideal and can observe before arrival. Tide gages are the other near-field sensor. But because they warn after initial impact, they provide only "upstream" information; this is not as useful as data at the impacted coastal point because of significant alongshore variation due to bathymetry. All information: seismic, far-field, model, and near-field (the latter including HF radar data) will prove invaluable in the evolving tsunami warning centers of the future.
The discovery and publication by Barrick in 1979 that HF radars could detect a tsunami wave from its orbital velocity1 lay dormant for 25 years until the devastating 2004 Banda Aceh event provided a "wake-up call." Although no HF radars were in place to observe that event, work began on hypothesizing the idealized tsunami current patterns one might expect to see from a single radar. It was recognized that the nearshore bathymetry would be a dominant factor that defined its surface signature. The problem lay in finding this tsunami pattern among the complex background flow constituents that these radars normally observe, and doing this rapidly with an automatic algorithm. This hypothetical pattern work gave way to reality after the March 2011 cataclysmic tsunami that wreaked havoc on Japan and whose strong waves were observed in the U.S. and South America. This time, over 20 SeaSondes were in place and able to record a trove of data that proved invaluable in creating the first HF radar algorithm ever that could detect the approaching tsunami signal offshore -- pulling it out of the background flows -- and provide an alert.
The algorithm that proved successful was based on the temporal characteristics of the tsunami wave rather than its spatial pattern; the latter will be added later. Damaging tsunamis have periods between 20 - 40 minutes. This separates them from wind-wave and swell motions, but is shorter than the 6-hour half-period of tides. However, normal spectral analysis methods require several periods to identify the desired peak, and this is too long to wait when lives are at stake. Therefore, to find the onset of this unique signature quickly among the other background flows, the algorithm we developed and demonstrated is based on the following:
|Locator map for April 2012 tsunami event in the
• Running averages and standard deviations of radial velocity flows from the radar back in time are being continually computed in bands parallel to the bathymetry (depth) contours. Then we:
• Calculate a "velocity-deviation function" from this background as a product over several adjacent bands.
• Calculate a "velocity-increment function" as the magnitude change over three successive time steps of 2 - 4 minutes each.
• Calculate a "velocity-correlation function" over the three or four depth-oriented bands. This must then increase or decrease in at least three consecutive time steps.
• Finally, the above three "functions" are multiplied together to create our "q-factor", which -- when it jumps from quiescent by a significant amount -- becomes the "tsunami alert" that is transmitted to a national coordination center.
The above algorithm was tested offline but in a automatic manner on data from 14 SeaSondes for the intense March 2011 Japanese tsunami: in both Japan and the U.S.; and at different frequency bands2. In all cases, it detected the tsunami before it was seen at the coast by tide gages. And in all of these locations, the shallow shelf did not extend far offshore -- a particularly challenging scenario.
How does it work for weaker tsunamis? We had a chance to test this with an April 2012 magnitude 8.6 event in the Indian Ocean, followed by a weak 8.2 aftershock. [See locator map].
Recall that it is not the magnitude of the earthquake that dictates tsunami intensity; it is related to the nature of the plate motions. In these events, coastal tide gages recorded maxima less than a meter, and at the radar sites, only tens of centimeters. This was seen by the 13 MHz SeaSonde at Padang, Indonesia and two 5 MHz SeaSondes in the Andaman Islands belonging to India. A paper submitted August 2012 to Remote Sensing journal offers details of these detections3.
Is this the end of our tsunami algorithm development? No. As with other tsunami sensors, analysis algorithms, and their mutual data fusion, they are in a state of flux and optimization. Our algorithm will see improvements in the following areas:
– The tradeoff between probability of detection and false alarms. You want the former to be as big as possible and the latter to be small. There is a "cost function" that describes this tradeoff. Never a false alarm carries a high cost of missing "the big event" and is unnecessary because other information (e.g., seismic) in a national tsunami fusion center will cull relevant alerts.
– The large velocity associated with the incoming tsunami is sensed by the radar. This will be converted to height through the spatio-temporal relations we developed, because height is the real killer.
– Although our recent experience shows the tsunami is detected before it arrives at the coast, we must refine this alert time more precisely. Again, the spatio-temporal tools to do this exist; we will develop and test them based on our past data observations.
|1- Barrick, D.E. "A Coastal Radar System for Tsunami Warning." Remote Sensing of Environment, Vol. 8, 353-358 (1979).
2- Lipa, B., D. Barrick, S. I. Saitoh, Y. Ishikawa, T. Awaji, J. Largier, and N. Garfield. "Japan Tsunami Current Flows Observed by HF Radars on Two Continents." Remote Sensing, Vol. 3,1-17 (2011).
3- Lipa, B. J., D.E. Barrick, S. Diposaptono, J. Isaacson, B.K. Jena, B.B. Nyden, K. Rajesh, T. Srinivasa Kumar. “High Frequency Radar Detection of the Weak 2012 Indonesia Tsunamis.”
Submitted to Remote Sensing in August 2012.
|Background image: SeaSonde Remote Unit operating in Indonesia on coastal bluff.
University of Alaska Fairbanks Summer 2012 Roundup:
“We threw everything at the ocean this year, including the kitchen sink!”
Contributed by Hank Statscewich & Peter Winsor, University of Alaska Fairbanks
| Summer 2012: Researchers at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF)
have kicked off an exciting field season with a massive sampling exercise
to measure ocean currents and stratification in the Chukchi Sea, a
marginal sea of the Arctic Ocean. The season started off with the
installation of CODAR Extended Long-Range SeaSondes in the villages of
Barrow, Wainwright and Point Lay. These specially-configured units feature a
second transmitter and transmit antenna to a traditional 5 MHz installation
to maximize the amount of energy transmitted from the antennas towards
ocean. Heavy ice cover lingered throughout the study area through most of
June and into mid-July, but by mid-August the ice started to break apart and
improvements in range from each of the three systems due to the hardware
augmentation started to become evident. Some preliminary analysis show
~25% improvement in range, from 180 km to 240 km!
In addition to the Long-Range SeaSondes, two higher resolution 25 MHz
systems are running in the village of Barrow to investigate the near shore
current fields around Point Barrow, the northernmost point in the United
States. The energetic currents of the region represent the oceanographic
link between the Pacific and Arctic Oceans via Barrow Canyon, a deep
submarine canyon that is located just 20 km from shore.
In August, principal investigator (PI) Tom Weingartner joined a multidisciplinary
science crew on board the US Coast Guard Cutter icebreaker
Healy. The group departed Dutch Harbor on August 4 en route to the
Chukchi. A dispatch from Tom relays the ice conditions, “Right now we
are at 71° 37’N, 160° 30’W and ice edge is no more than 5 miles away to the
south. Ice edge is very diffuse and easily navigable. Hanna Shoal was an
impressive mess with unbelievably large masses of grounded ice.” During
the cruise, Tom deployed 28 drifters in the study area and collected a
mountain of hydrographic and ocean current data.
||Background image: UAF SeaSonde antenna in Arctic during ice melt. Image courtesy of UAF.
|Current map with a strongly sheared current field
and huge front in the vertical sections (transition
between greens and blue colors between Barrow
and Wainwright). Black boxes are areas being
considered for offshore drilling.
|Follow That Front! Adaptive Sampling Using SeaSonde Data
The day that Tom stepped off the Healy and onto dry land, PI Peter Winsor and
crew stepped onto the Norseman II for a two week survey of the frontal structures
on the Chukchi Shelf. Winsor and crew towed an undulating CTD-optics
instrument through the water almost continuously for 12 days, collecting >4,000
casts through a 1,300 swath of ocean. The science party made extensive use of the
surface current maps produced by the SeaSondes to adaptively sample fronts,
convergence zones and coastal jets in the region. Winsor also deployed 20 drifters,
two gliders and a short-term current meter mooring. The drifters were initially
separated by 10 km but were placed on either side of a front, identified by the
CODAR and towed instrument, with a temperature difference of >6 °C. Two Webb
Slocum gliders were deployed alongside the drifter clusters to gain a Lagrangian
perspective of the frontal physics. For these glider deployments, the UAF team
relied on the glider piloting expertise of the Rutgers University Coastal Ocean
Observation Lab. While the UAF researchers were at sea in the Chukchi, the glider
pilots were comfortably situated in New Jersey.
|Chukchi Sea SeaSonde-derived hour-averaged
surface current map 22 August
2012 16:00 hrs UTC.
A total of ~100 drifters were deployed in the Chukchi Sea this summer. Apart from
giving the science team insights into the circulation patterns of the area, the
drifters will also be used for detailed comparisons with the CODAR-derived surface
currents. Project data, including real-time surface current vectors can be viewed on
the project website: http://dm.sfos.uaf.edu/chukchi-beaufort/index.php
Funding for this research is provided by the United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Ocean
images provided courtesy of University of Alaska Fairbanks.
|Ship Detection in Arctic
|Since 1906, when Norwegian Roald Amundsen first transited the Northwest Passage in his sloop, Gjøa, Atlantic mariners have
dreamed about a northern route to the Pacific. With retreating sea ice and longer periods of thin ice and open waters in the
Arctic Summer, this dream may soon be a reality. With increased shipping activity and other economic opportunities,
including potential offshore oil and gas development and tourist cruises in the Chukchi Sea, the U.S. Coast Guard is increasing
their presence and capabilities in all US Arctic waters. Part of this increased focus requires the ability to monitor vessels working
and transiting through the area.
|Together with Rutgers University, the University of Alaska
Fairbanks has implemented CODAR Ocean Sensors’ real-time
ship detection software simultaneously on Long-Range and Hi-
Res SeaSondes during Summer of 2012 in Barrow, Alaska, the
focal point for vessels transiting between the Beaufort and
Chukchi Seas. This software is a true dual-use application in that
it runs as a complementary, parallel process and does not
interfere with nor detract from SeaSonde current and wave
processing. The main purpose of the vessel detection work in
Alaska was to demonstrate that the real-time capability Rutgers
already has in operation for monitoring the New York Harbor
approaches could also be applied to an Arctic environment where
unique sea ice and auroral effects exist.In addition, it has proven
to operate well in remote arctic settings where shore-based grid
power is unavailable requiring autonomous power and
communication systems. The HF-generated vessel detections and
AIS data feeds from the ships operating in the area are passed to
Rutgers in real-time for further association and QC analysis.
Funding for this work is provided by the U.S. Department of
Background image: SeaSonde antenna with UAF’s solar/wind/fuel power + communications hut. Image courtesy of UAF.
CALYPSO Project SeaSonde Network:
Improving Oil Spill Response Using HF Radar in the
SeaSonde surface currents maps
for the Malta System shown in PORTUS.
Courtesy of CALYPSO partners.
Some of the CALYPSO Partners
during SeaSonde training
Three SeaSondes will soon be providing realtime
surface current maps in the strip of sea
dividing Malta and Sicily, for the
CALYPSO Project, coordinated by Prof. Aldo
Drago from the University of Malta. Two units
have already been installed and commissioned on
northern Malta (Ta’Barkat and Ta’Sopu), with the
final unit scheduled for installation in late October
2012 in southern Sicily (Port of Pozzallo). The
CALYPSO radar network also includes latest
technology to extend the coverage performance with
use of Multi-Static Data Processing Software at one
of the sites in Malta. This is intended to extend the
area of coverage closer to the Maltese coastline as
well as to add redundancy in the conventional
backscatter region, thereby increasing current
measurement robustness. The network is managed
using a state-of-the-art data management platform,
which consists of the CODAR Central
Management / Data Combining Station and the PORTUS by QUALITAS Marine
Information System, providing data retrieval and combining from the radar stations,
access to all SeaSonde data outputs (offline or through a web based viewer), powerful
data sharing tools like OPEnDAP, ftp or WMS as well as advanced tools for system
administration, monitoring and reporting.
|CALYPSO primary aim is to support efficient response against marine oil spills in
the Malta-Sicily Channel, that is one of the busiest areas of maritime transportation in the Mediterranean, accounting for roughly
twenty percent of the world’s oil tanker traffic. An oil spill accident may cause a devastating damage to a small island state like
Malta where economic assets and areas of touristic attraction are concentrated in space. Malta’s water desalinization plants are
among the most vulnerable to oil spill objects since they provide the country’s major source of fresh water.
The routine acquisition of such spatially widespread, long-term data sets is expected to trigger an unprecedented leap in the
economic value of ocean data and information, and will additionally target multiple applications and information users.This project
puts Malta and Sicily at the forefront of such initiatives in the Mediterranean and will serve as a stepping stone to expand the
system in the future for coverage of the full marine space around the Maltese Islands and the Sicilian perimeter.
CALYPSO brings together three other partners from Malta -Transport Malta, Civil Protection Department and Armed Forces of
Malta – and four partners from Sicily – ARPA Sicilia, IAMC-CNR Capo Granitola, Università degli Studi di Palermo (UNIPA) and
Università di Catania (CUTGANA). Spanish engineering company Qualitas Remos has been awarded the contract for radar supply,
installation, commission and calibration.
More information about this project at - http://oceania.research.um.edu.mt/cms/calypsoweb
|Status of U.S. HF Radar National Network (HFRNet)
Contributed by L. Hazard, M. Otero, T. Cook, T. de Paolo, & E. Terrill, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
The success and continued expansion of a high frequency (HF)
radar national network for the distribution of coastal surface
currents has become possible through the dedication and
partnerships of multiple institutions, federal and non-federal
agencies, local and state governments, and private companies. The
U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (U.S. IOOS®) is dedicated
to maintaining the U.S. network and beginning to reach out to
global partners as these data are used in universal applications for
the health and safety of human and marine populations.
HF Radar site growth in U.S. from 2003 - present.
|The Coastal Observing Research and Development Center(CORDC) at Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) leads the development and administration of the HF Radar National Network (HFRNet) for distribution of HF radar derived surface currents. The HF-Radar Network started as a prototype with a single portal and node and 4 sites in December 2003 and has since grown to an operational status with over 4 million radial files produced by 133 sites from 29 participating institutions as of September 2012 as shown in adjacent figure. Central repository nodes have been deployed at the National Data Buoy Center(NDBC), on the west coast at Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO), and east coast at Rutgers University, to demonstrate an end to end distributed data. Site aggregators are currently deployed at eleven partnering institutions including Oregon State University; San Francisco State University; Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute; California Polytechnic State University; University of California, Santa Barbara; University of Southern California; Scripps Institution of Oceanography; University of Maine; Rutgers University; University of Southern Mississippi; and University of Miami. The U.S. IOOS program has supported the standards-based ingest and delivery of HF radar data. Standardized data formats and access methods enable surface-current data to be ingested by national tactical decision aids, such as those used by the U.S. Coast Guard for search-and-rescue, and NOAA for oil spill tracking and abatement. Coastal applications utilizing HF radar derived surface currents transcend all coasts. The first Group on Earth Observation (GEO) Global High Frequency Radar meeting was held in London, England in March, 2012. A pilot project to extend the distributed data management system to global partners will begin next year initially with the Republic of Korea. U.S. and Korean partners will collaborate in all aspects of HF radar operations including system deployment, maintenance, data distribution, and products.
HFRNet Data Integration into Search and Rescue Optimal Planning (SAROPS)
Full HFRNet integration into the U.S. Coast Guard Search and Rescue Optimal Planning System (SAROPS) has occurred in a
phased approach in partnership with the United States Coast Guard (USCG), CORDC, Applied Science Associates (ASA),
NDBC, the University of
and Rutgers University
with funding from the U.S.
IOOS. The CONUS total
vectors are made available
in near real-time via both
graphical display tools, and
machine services Thematic
Distributed Data Services
(THREDDS) to USCG
Environmental Data Server
(EDS). A graphical
representation of the
network is showing in
Graphical representation of data path from site to SAROPS tool.
|Direction of Arrival (DOA) Metrics
Detailed analysis into Quality Assurance (QA) metrics is an ongoing research area at CORDC and SIO. Analysis of the compact
antenna patterns and the internal signal processing within the MUSIC algorithm leads to a goodness-of-fit quality metric for the
output radial current velocities and bearings produced by the HF radar system. Quality of measured antenna patterns is
paramount to the accuracy of the MUSIC algorithm bearing output. Ongoing research and development between CORDC and
CODAR Ocean Sensors aims to provide HF radar users with a practical quality metric for the radial current velocities and their
associated bearings produced by the HF radar system.
Our current effort focuses on the three CODAR SeaSonde sites in the San Diego Bight: Point Loma (SDPL), Border Park
(SDBP), and Coronado Island (SDCI). Using the Radial Metric files that CODAR Ocean Sensors developed, we can collect the
statistical distributions of various QA metrics for each site. In this analysis, we are using the maximum of the Direction of Arrival
(DOA) function, the half power width of the DOA function, and the Doppler cell Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR). All of these
metrics are used in determining the bearing angle of each radial velocity vector. See references  and  for complete details.
The data set currently being analyzed is shown in adjacent Figure, which lays out the baseline
areas between SIO SeaSonde sites. If one looks closely, especially on the baseline between
SDBP and SDCI, there are inconsistencies in the radial vectors. Radial velocity vectors are
pointing in both directions, to the northeast, and to the southwest. Physically, this is
unlikely to be a realistic situation. By eliminating the vectors with low quality metrics,
according to the distributions above, it is expected that the baseline data will become more
consistent. As a measure of consistency, the standard deviation of the two components of
the radial velocity vectors (U, V) should decrease after QA analysis. Many days of baseline
data are being analyzed at this time, and formal results will follow.
|San Diego Bight SeaSonde
system baseline analysis.
HF Radar Oil Platform Deployments in
Gulf of Mexico
CORDC staff continue HF radar operations at the Atlantis Platform in the Gulf of Mexico
and an additional radar has just recently been installed on Thunderhorse Platform in August
2012. Processing efforts continue to focus on Loop Current detection using radial currents
from a single radar, and altimeter-derived currents to constrain the single site solutions.
Analysis efforts are prioritized to a time frame when Loop Current passes within close
proximity of the Atlantis radar system. In support of these efforts an array of 14 CORDC
miniature wave buoys were deployed along a transect in the Gulf of Mexico on October
21-22, 2011. The transect extended from the shelf break (~800m depth) to a deep water location
(~2800m depth) that was predicted to be the location of the Loop Current as estimated from satellite imagery and the
EddyWatch product. Within the first 2 weeks of the deployment, 8 of the buoys were entrained in a warm core eddy that was
forming along the Loop Current, while the remaining buoys drifted
along the shelf, and exhibited flow patterns consistent with wind
generated and inertial motions (figure at right). The buoys were
unique in that they captured the warm core eddy during its
formation, and continued to be entrained in the eddy, some making
3 or 4 transits around the eddy. The buoys that made it on to the
shelf provided wave and current observations in the vicinity of many
of BP’s offshore leases. Analysis efforts are continuing on platform
based HF Radar deployments.
Track of all buoys over entire deployment
(Oct 2011 - Jan 2012).
1.) H. Harlan, E. Terrill, H. Hazard, C. Keen et al. The Integrated Ocean Observing
System High-Frequency Radar Network: Status and Local, Regional, and National
Applications, Marine Technology Society Journal, Nov/Dec, Vol 44, No. 6.
2.) S. Y. Kim, E. Terrill, B. Cornuelle, et. al, Mapping the U.S. West Coast surface
circulation: A multiyear analysis of high frequency radar observations, Journal of
Geophysical Research, Vol. 116, C03011, doi:10.1029/2010JC006669, 2011.
3.) E. Terrill, M. Otero, L. Hazard, Mapping Surface Currents Around U.S. Coasts:
A Network of High-Frequency Radar for the Integrated Ocean Observing System,
Sea Technology, September 2007.
4.) E. Terrill, M. Otero, L. Hazard, D. Conlee, J. Harlan, J. Kohut, et. al, Data Management and Real-time Distribution in the HF-Radar National Network,
5.) T. de Paolo, E. Terrill: Skill Assessment of Resolving Ocean Surface Current Structure using Compact-Antenna Style HF RADAR and the MUSIC
Direction Finding Algorithm, American Meteorological Society Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, July 2007.
6.) T. de Paolo, E. Terrill: Properties of HF RADAR Compact Antenna Arrays and Their Effect on the MUSIC Algorithm, SIO Library Publications, 2009
All images provided courtesy of Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
Cleanup Teams Guided by CODAR Data
HF radar technology used successfully to find trash hot-spots
Contributed by Chris Pincetich, Marine Biologist, SeaTurtles.org
Sausalito, California - A team of non-profit scientists has
begun using high-frequency radar to locate and cleanup
trash hot-spots on the waters of the
San Francisco Bay.
Chris Pincetich of SeaTurtles.org speaking
with local ABC news affiliate as San Francisco
Bay exercise gets underway.
|Using a small boat launched from Sausalito, the team was able
to locate two hot-spots of trash, or marine debris as it is called
at sea, in just under an hour. Dip nets collected foam pieces,
discarded rope, plastic bags, plastic cups, and dozens of other
items. “Over 90% of the recovered trash items were plastic, and 87% of those were
disposable items people use once and litter or landfill,” said Chris Pincetich, Ph.D.
marine biologist and leader of Marine Debris Action Teams, a project of
SeaTurtles.org. “The plastic is polluting the critical habitat feeding area of
leatherback sea turtles offshore of San Francisco Bay and may be harming them and
other marine life.”
The teams’ ultimate goal is to prove that this technology could target the massive
accumulation of plastic pollution in Pacific Ocean gyres. Plastic marine debris is known to harm wildlife in the ocean, like Pacific
leatherback sea turtles, that accidentally ingest it or become entangled in it.
The Pacific leatherback swims 6,000 miles across the ocean to feed on jellyfish along the California coast. More than 16,000
square miles of California’s coastal waters were designated as critical habit for the leatherbacks earlier this year. “We were able go
directly to high-density piles of plastic pollution using this high-resolution radar technology, just as we anticipated,” said Nick
Drobac, Executive Director of The Clean Oceans Project. “I’m confident that this work
in the San Francisco Bay will demonstrate that we can have equal success on the high
seas tackling the massive amounts of plastic waste in the Pacific Ocean.”
|Above: Nick Drobac explaining to NBC
Bay Area news how the team utilizes the
SF Bay Currents App to look for front
lines and other convergence zones.
Below: The San Francisco Bay SeaSonde
network data is fed into the app which
displays a surface currents nowcast and
|“Floating debris tends to be concentrated in convergence areas that can be monitored
in real-time using high-frequency radar” said Dr. Toby Garfield at San Francisco State
University, who oversees parts of the network of radar along California’s coast. “We are
very pleased that this data is being used to remove marine debris much more
The Clean Oceans Project has been assembling technologies to launch offshore
missions to address the growing epidemic of plastic pollution in the world’s oceans
through a plan to efficiently locate it, collect it, and process it into diesel fuel using
machines they possess. The SeaTurtles.org works in California and around the world to
protect endangered sea turtles and formed Marine Debris Action Teams in 2011 to stem
the tide of plastic pollution in sea turtle feeding areas through cleanups, scientific
research, outreach, and education. These two groups have developed a collaboration in
San Francisco Bay where local volunteers can assist with cleanups before litter reaches
the open ocean.
The radar used to locate litter hot-spots is part of the Coastal Ocean Currents
Monitoring Program (COCMP) established in 2005 to measure coastal surface
circulation along the whole California Coast. Nearly sixty CODAR SeaSonde radar
stations along the coast provide live data on offshore currents to oceanographers, ocean
rescue teams, and oil spill response teams. Most stations provide 1 or 3 km resolution
but the system inside the San Francisco Bay offers 0.4 km spatial resolution of current
movements in the central Bay. This high-resolution portion of network provided
information during the
response effort to the
Cosco Busan oil spill of
|Team members show off trash retrieved at a convergence zone.
“Studies determined that 37% of leatherback sea turtles have
plastic inside of them, likely because they mistake floating plastic
for jellyfish, their main prey,” said Dr. Pincetich. “Since most dead
sea turtles are eaten by sharks or sink, there could be far more
dying offshore from plastic pollution than we know about.”
Thailand - U.S. Increasing Ties
in HF Radar Technology
Information sharing to prove beneficial as
Thailand expands its SeaSonde network
This August a high-ranking delegation from Thailand’s Ministry of Science and
Geo-Informatics Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA) kicked
off a special U.S. trip by visiting SeaSonde sites along the New Jersey coast
and the Rutgers University Coastal Ocean Observation Laboratory (COOLroom),
where they joined Rutgers scientists as
well as U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing
System (U.S. IOOS) Program Director
Ms. Zdenka Willis in discussion on U.S.
experiences with HF radar and data
utilization for both
|Members of the Thai delegation, Rutgers
University and U.S. IOOS pose for a group
photo in front of COOL room glider ops screen.
operational pursuits. GISTDA, already
with expertise in satellite remote sensing,
is adding HF radar technology into its
suite of observing technologies and establishing a 13-radar unit SeaSonde network in
the Gulf of Thailand this year. Delegates concluded their U.S. trip in San Francisco
touring local radar sites inside the bay and conducting factory inspections of their
new SeaSonde materials. Preparations for the installation, led by CODAR’s local
Thai partner Metlink Info. Co., are already underway and once completed will bring
the total number of SeaSondes operating in that country to 20.
|Rutgers’ Hugh Roarty points out details of
the SeaSonde hardware in Belmar, New
|The 1st Ocean Radar Conference for Asia (ORCA):
Certainly Not the Last
|Ocean monitoring using HF radar technology is truly a niche field due in part to the large area coverage that can be
achieved with very few units. Inside any country one can find at most an elite handful of persons with direct experience
working with such systems and data outputs. But as the number of HF radar installations has increased over the past
decade, some countries have achieved wide area coverage with national networks, and this brings potential for providing useful
data to a large number of organizations who can exploit for improved decision making in a variety of operational pursuits,
including search and rescue, pollution spill response,
fisheries management, efficient vessel navigation, tsunami
observing and more.
|1st ORCA participants
|1st ORCA sponsors
Operations and maintenance, management, processing,
quality control and interpretation of HF radar data --
tasks to be resolved prior to packaging data appropriately
for supporting decision making activities -- are issues that
brought together 62 persons from 10 countries in Seoul,
South Korea this past May at the 1st Ocean Radar
Conference for Asia. This three day event hosted by the
Korea Ocean Radar Forum (KORF) was a tremendous
success in both technical content and as well as making
progress in the ORCA event purpose: “building
relationships across national boundaries to help foster the
development and growth of HF radar observation
networks along the Asian seas”.
ORCA events are expected to occur every two years, with
venue moving to different asian locations, the 2nd ORCA
tentatively scheduled for Spring 2014.
|CODAR’s Recommended List
Many excellent presentations are expected at the upcoming Oceans ’12 MTS/
IEEE Hampton Roads. Here is a select list of those having some connection to
HF radar (especially SeaSonde) that are considered “must-attend” by
CODAR staff. We hope to see you in the audience!
Session 4.4 Coastal Radars / Tues. 16 October / 1:30 - 2:50 PM / Room MR 2C
• Hugh Roarty: Automated quality control of high frequency radar data (120514-003).
• Chad Whelan: Automatic calibrations for improved quality assurance of coastal HF radar currents (120601-066).
• Mike Muglia: Identifying the shoreward Gulf stream front at Cape Hatteras with coastal ocean radar surface currents
• Theresa Updyke: A study of surface currents in the coastal ocean outside Chesapeake Bay using high frequency radars
operating at multiple frequencies (120518-149).
Session HR5 - Integrated Ocean Observing - Regional IOOS 1 / Tues. 16 October / 1:30 - 2:50 PM / Room MR 1C
• Gerhard Kuska: Raising the bar in the mid-Atlantic: moving MARACOOS observations to next generation forecasting and
product development (120518-108).
• Clifford Merz: Evolution of the USF/CMS CODAR and WERA HF radar network (120518-115).
Session 4.4 Coastal Radars / Tues. 16 October / 3:20 - 5:00 PM / Room MR 2C
• Colin Evans: Examination of the SeaSonde wave processing parameters and the effects of shallow water on wave
• Calvin Teague: Findings on the estimation of wind turbine RCS and its effect on 13.5 MHz radars (120517-039).
Session HR3 Wind Marine Renewable Energy- Wind / Tues. 16 October / 3:20 - 5:00 PM / Room MR 2B
• Hugh Roarty: Analysis of the wind resource off New Jersey for offshore wind energy development (120515-001).
Session 4.4 Coastal Radars / Wed. 17 October / 8:20 -9:40 AM / Room MR 2C
• Emanuele Rognoli: Surface flow dynamics within an exposed wind-driven bay: combined HFR observations and model
Session 3.41 Systems and Observatories / Wed. 17 October / 8:20 - 9:40 AM / Room MR 4B
• Scott Glenn: Impact of Ocean Observatories on hurricane forecasts in the mid-Atlantic (120518-083).
Session HR3 Marine Renewable Energy- Waves 3 / Wed. 17 October / 3:20 - 5:00 PM / Room MR 2B
• Hugh Roarty: Expanding the coverage of HF radar through use of wave powered buoys (120514-004).
Session 5.6 Data Assimilation / Thursday 18 October / 8:20 - 9:40 AM / Room MR 3E
• Emanuele Ragnoli: An optimal interpolation scheme of HFR current data into a numerical ocean model (120518-032).
• Alan Blumberg: Impact of assimilating high frequency radar surface currents on the fidelity of a middle Atlantic bight
circulation model (120531-023).
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