LSU's WAVCIS, or Wave-Current-Surge Information System for Coastal Louisiana, has a few new tricks up its sleeve in preparation for the 2009 hurricane season.
Drawing from a pool of scientific talent at the university, across the nation and Europe, WAVCIS now offers graphic, easy-to-understand model outputs projecting wave height, current depths and tracks, salinity ratios and water temperature measurements that not only provide state-of-the-art guidance to emergency management officials, but also give federal and state agencies such as the United States Navy, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Weather Service, National Hurricane Center and Louisiana Department of National Resources new and improved ways to test their own modeling accuracy.
"I believe WAVCIS is likely the most comprehensive program in the entire nation," said Gregory Stone, director of both the WAVCIS program and the Coastal Studies Institute and also the James P. Morgan Distinguished Professor at LSU. "We now have 60 to 84 hour advance forecasting capabilities due to our satellite link-ups with NOAA and our supercomputing capabilities. Because of these advancements, we are in much better shape for the 2009 hurricane season to provide valuable information than we were in the past."
WAVCIS operates by deploying equipment in the depths of the Gulf of Mexico. Currently, they have sensors attached to numerous oil platforms. Instruments are attached to towers on the platforms and allow meteorological measurements – air temperature, wind speed and direction, visibility – to be made; state-of-the-art oceanographic sensors are placed underwater and on the sea floor.
Advanced technology, including the Acoustic Doppler Profiler, an instrument that Stone's group has helped perfect in real time with the private sector, provides a very comprehensive overview of current velocities from the sea bed to the surface in addition to wave conditions on the sea surface.
"In a normal weather situation, WAVCIS links with the satellites and retrieves up-to-date information every hour. This information is then immediately supplied to computer models at LSU's WAVCIS lab and the data are posted on the WAVCIS Web site," said Stone. "However, during a hurricane or other extreme weather events, we have the capacity to increase the frequency of these link-ups. We won't have the luxury of waiting an hour during the approach of a hurricane – it's critical that we can see what's going on out there in 15 to 30 minute intervals in order to accurately assess the situation."
The WAVCIS group, a component of LSU's world famous Coastal Studies Institute, has sensors all throughout the Gulf of Mexico. In fact, most of the equipment used by WAVCIS is developed and maintained in-house at the Coastal Studies Institute's fabrication shop. Through a close and reciprocal relationship with NOAA's National Data Buoy Center, WAVCIS can also access that group's sensors, giving the system a gulf-wide look at emerging trends in waves and currents, which can be very important during the approach of a tropical cyclone.
"Things such as the maximum wave height, wind speeds and storm surge, will play an integral role in issues concerning public safety," said Stone. "For example, the development of certain currents, such as the Loop current in the Gulf of Mexico, allows for almost immediate intensification of storms. That's why having an easy-to-understand and comprehensive end product was so important to my team and the Coastal Studies Institute, for example the Earth Scan Lab and the Southern Regional Climate Center, during the development stages. When it's crunch time and people are nervous, we want the facts to be clear."
In addition to being a very active research group and providing graduate and undergraduate students with hands-on opportunities in an internationally-acclaimed lab, WAVCIS also provides other entities with the opportunity to test their own modeling accuracy. "By looking at the models they developed and then comparing them to ours and our measurements offshore, they can determine how accurate their models currently are and go about fine-tuning if necessary. This strengthens our knowledge of the oceanographic and coastal environment. Given the vulnerability of, for example coastal Louisiana and the oil and gas infrastructure in the Gulf of Mexico to erosion and hurricane impacts, it is important that the Federal Government, State of Louisiana and the oil and gas industry continue to support this effort," Stone said.
Making Oceans Plastic Free - Project tackles the problem of plastic pollution in the oceans
31.05.2017 | Leibniz-Zentrum für Marine Tropenforschung (ZMT)
Nitrogen Oxides Emissions: Traffic Dramatically Underestimated as Major Polluter
31.05.2017 | Universität Innsbruck
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...
Germany counts high-precision manufacturing processes among its advantages as a location. It’s not just the aerospace and automotive industries that require almost waste-free, high-precision manufacturing to provide an efficient way of testing the shape and orientation tolerances of products. Since current inline measurement technology not yet provides the required accuracy, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is collaborating with four renowned industry partners in the INSPIRE project to develop inline sensors with a new accuracy class. Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the project is scheduled to run until the end of 2019.
New Manufacturing Technologies for New Products
19.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
22.06.2017 | Life Sciences
22.06.2017 | Materials Sciences
22.06.2017 | Materials Sciences