Long-term Real-time Observation Networks for Ports, Estuaries and the Open Shelf

Scott M. Glenn1, William Boicourt2 Tommy D. Dickey3 and Bruce Parker4

1Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences
Rutgers University

2Horn Point Environmental Laboratory
University of Maryland

3Ocean Physics Laboratory
University of California Santa Barbara

4Coast Survey Development Laboratory
National Ocean Service, NOAA

Presented at:
Challenges and Promise of Designing and Implementing An Ocean Observing System for U.S. Coastal Waters
Solomons, Maryland
23-27 May 1999
Background Paper 3

Last update: July 3, 1999


Ocean observation networks for ports, estuaries and the open shelf are currently operating or are being constructed at numerous locations around the country. The rationale for their construction and maintenance include both long-term and real-time applications. Enabling technologies that make this possible now are the rapid advancements in sensor and platform technologies, multiple real-time communication systems for transmitting the data, and the emergence of a universal method for the distribution of results via the World Wide Web. Representative observation networks highlighted here include one for harbors (PORTS), a second for estuaries (CBOS), and a third for the open coast (LEO-15). Each network is described in terms of its system specific goals, its current capabilities, and its recent accomplishments. Future sensors and platforms that will expand the observation capabilities in all three regions are described. A common set of problems each network must address includes operational support, instrument calibration, bio-fouling, power requirements, and data management. Future recommendations include development of partnerships, long-term support mechanisms, and a new generation of support personnel that fosters the formation of a National distributed observation network.

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