Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

NASA satellites see ocean conditions in 3-D, improve forecasts

30.01.2004


Freighters, cruise lines, marine rescuers and coastal managers are among those who could benefit from prototype three-dimensional, three-day ocean condition forecasts created with the assistance of NASA satellite data, computer models and on-site ocean measurements.


WIND DATA FROM QUIKSCAT
This is a QuikSCAT image of winds on the surface of the Pacific Ocean on January 8, 2004. Credit: NASA JPL



Scientists hope to forecast ocean conditions several days ahead, much like regional weather forecasts broadcast on television news. "It’s a three-dimensional look at the ocean, from the surface to the ocean bottom," said Yi Chao of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, Calif., lead scientist on the project. Chao and three colleagues presented their real-time operational forecast system for the Central California Ocean at the recent Annual Meeting of the American Meteorological Society (AMS).

The end product from our 3-D ocean model includes temperature, salinity and current," Chao said. These are available as text or binary data, or can be visualized for further analysis. Seeing the ocean in three dimensions, and knowing how it will behave from top to bottom, will save fuel costs for large shippers by steering away from choppy waters, or moving with the current. The data will also help Coast Guard rescuers, as they would be able to determine which direction people stranded in the water would drift. Several satellite measurements provide input into the forecast system, including near-real time wind data from the Quikscat instrument on NASA’s SeaWinds satellite; ocean height, including waves, measured from NASA’s Topex/Poseidon and Jason satellites; sea surface temperatures measured by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer instrument.


Aircraft data from the Office of Naval Research is used on cloudy days, when satellites cannot see the ocean surface. A variety of sensors, such as sea gliders that can dive from the ocean surface to several hundred meters depth, ships, and autonomous underwater vehicles, provide ocean water temperature and salinity data. Meters measure ocean currents, and shore- based high-frequency radars provide ocean surface current data. Once these data were input into the forecast system, existing ocean conditions were simulated in 3-D, within 24 hours behind real-time, and more accurate three-day forecasts were then generated in 3-D.

Chao said the NASA 3-D ocean models were useful in planning daily ocean measurement missions during a field campaign conducted last summer in Monterey Bay, Calif. Mission scientists used the forecasts to find interesting areas to observe, such as where cold water from the ocean bottom came up to the surface. Wherever the models seemed to generate an error, more observations were planned, so the forecasts could be improved.

Data is only available for Monterey Bay, where the prototype system was first tested. The next test site will stretch along the coast from San Diego to Baja, Calif. System data are not yet available for public use. Sixteen institutions are evaluating the system or providing data. The researchers hope to eventually issue round-the-clock operational forecasts along all U.S. coastal areas.

In addition to helping with ocean condition forecasts, NASA also is interested in studying the coastal ocean to monitor resources for many purposes including recreation, conservation and commerce. Satellites provide the high-resolution imagery to accomplish this task.


NASA and the Office of Naval Research jointly funded this research. The forecast system exemplifies NASA’s Earth Science Enterprise Coastal Management national application, where agency aerospace research and development of science and technologies are being used with other federal agencies such as NOAA.

Rob Gutro | GSFC
Further information:
http://www.gsfc.nasa.gov/topstory/2004/0113forecastca.html

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Radioactivity from oil and gas wastewater persists in Pennsylvania stream sediments
22.01.2018 | Duke University

nachricht World’s oldest known oxygen oasis discovered
18.01.2018 | Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Thanks for the memory: NIST takes a deep look at memristors

22.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

Radioactivity from oil and gas wastewater persists in Pennsylvania stream sediments

22.01.2018 | Earth Sciences

Saarland University bioinformaticians compute gene sequences inherited from each parent

22.01.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks Wissenschaft & Forschung
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>