Air-deployed wave buoys for hurricane forecast improvements

PI: Thomson, Jim (University of Washington)
Co-PI(s): Smit, Pieter (Sofar Ocean Technologies) : Janssen, Tim (Sofar Ocean Technologies) : Fairall, Christopher (NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory) : Thompson, Elizabeth (NOAA Oceanic & Atmospheric Research) : de Boer, Gijs (CIRES, University of Colorado)
Start Year: 2021 | Duration: 4 years
Partners: University of Washington, Sofar Ocean Technologies, NOAA Earth System Research Lab, NOAA Oceanic & Atmospheric Research

Project Abstract:

The proposed project will air-drop wave buoys in front of hurricanes and provide real-time data for assimilation into wave forecast systems. The project will expand an existing buoy design (Sofar Ocean Spotters) for operational deployments from open-door aircraft, such as the C-130. The project will simultaneously test prototype buoys (APL-UW microSWIFTs and NOAA ADMBs) for research deployments from dropsonde tubes in pressurized aircraft, such as the P3. A total of 10 hurricanes will be sampled over 4 years, nominally as 1-3-3-3, by year. The project will include research to optimize the spacing and timing of the wave buoys relative to the predicted hurricane track.

BAA: N00014-20-S-B001