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GNSS team in WaveSentry sea forecast project

Satellite navigation (GNSS) experts from SSTL are contributing remote sensing and satellite know-how to a pioneering UK-led project that aims to improve forecasting of adverse weather conditions at sea. Using satellite data to measure ocean roughness has been an area of interest for SSTL since an experimental GNSS receiver payload was launched onboard its UK-DMC satellite. During the past few years, the GNSS receivers team has investigated the use of GNSS reflectometry "“ the use of reflected navigation signals from space to characterise ocean weather "“ with promising results, and produced a prototype instrument in collaboration with partners in the UK that will be developed into a payload for the TechDemoSat-1 technology demonstration satellite. Smarter shipping In addition to shipping, many marine operations such as offshore oil platforms and renewable energy projects depend on high quality information on sea-state (wave height, period, direction, steepness) for economic and safety decision making. However, the information currently available is based on atmospheric/ocean models and lacks sufficient temporal and spatial resolution. Martin Unwin, Principal Engineer commented,
Wave conditions are always changing and can vary tremendously over just 100km, or over a period of two hours. This also makes modelling and forecasting very difficult, so the most immediate use of this data is more likely to be what we call "˜nowcasting’ "“ assessing current conditions thoroughly before commencing an operation.
Another problem with conventional methods is that the use of buoys provides good information around the coast and shipping lanes, but is simply not economical nor practical for charting the vast oceans of Earth. This is one area where satellites, with their global view, are ideally equipped. All hands on deck Recognising the opportunity for an improved system, the UK’s Technology Strategy Board has provided co-funding for the WaveSentry project. WaveSentry will address shortcomings on two fronts:
  • By exploiting new data sources that include SSTL’s novel satellite remote measurements of wave steepness.
  • By integrating data from all sources in a single system (including real-time buoy and ship data).
This multi-disciplinary project will bring together partners from all areas to develop and apply techniques to substantially enhance the integration of diverse data sources to offer improved data about adverse sea-states to a number of markets. SSTL and its partner National Oceanographic Centre, Southampton, are investigating the potential for spaceborne GNSS Reflectometry measurements to contribute towards knowledge of sea state in combination with other data sources. You can keep up to date with the WaveSentry project on the the Marine Southeast website.





14 September 20110 Comments1 Comment

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