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 Fast rising bedrock below West Antarctica reveals an extremely fluid Earth mantle
22.06.2018 | Technical University of Denmark

nachricht Polar ice may be softer than we thought
22.06.2018 | 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: Temperature-controlled fiber-optic light source with liquid core

In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.

Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Graphene assembled film shows higher thermal conductivity than graphite film

22.06.2018 | Materials Sciences

Fast rising bedrock below West Antarctica reveals an extremely fluid Earth mantle

22.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

Zebrafish's near 360 degree UV-vision knocks stripes off Google Street View

22.06.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>