In-situ measurements of ocean surface waves from air-deployed Directional Wave Spectra Drifters (DWSD) and Air Launched Autonomous Micro-Observer (ALAMO) Floats

PI: Centurioni, Luca (University of California – San Diego (UCSD))
Co-PI(s): Hormann, Verena (SIO/UCSD), Vincent, Charles (Univ of Miami/CSTARS), Jayne, Steven (WHOI), Sanabia, Elizabeth (US Naval Academy), Lumpkin, Rick (NOAA/AOML), Bogue, Neil (MRV Systems LLC)
Start Year: 2021 | Duration: 4 years
Partners: SIO/UCSD, University of Miami, WHOI, US Naval Academy, NOAA/AOML, MRV Systems LLC

Project Abstract:

In the last decade the PIs of this proposal have been conducting routine observations of directional wave spectra from specialized drifters and floats that are available in ship and air-deployable configurations. The data collected by the PIs have been provided in real-time to forecasters through operational data relay systems as well as to researchers through dedicated data relay systems (both real-time and delayed mode) maintained by the Lagrangian Drifter laboratory of Scripps and by NOAA’s AOML. In this proposal, we intend to work with NOPP participants to target observations and deploy instrumentation to help improve understanding of coastal impacts hurricanes through off-shore waves wind, atmospheric mesoscale events as well as coastal surge and inundation.

Our new generation of A-size wave drifters are now deployable from NOAA’s P3 and other smaller planes and, as such, are creating new deployment opportunities because of their versatility and ease of deployment. The instruments discussed in this proposal were developed by the LDL and MRV/WHOI are already cleared for deployment by the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron (WRS) “Hurricane Hunters” WC-130J aircraft.

We propose to target offshore wave observations under hurricane conditions, that will serve, among other uses, to constrain the boundary conditions of coastal inundation models. The two instrument packages (i.e., drifters and floats) will provide a complete picture of the offshore ocean conditions including surface velocity and integrated upper-level velocity, mixed-layer structure, sea-level-pressure, surface winds, and temperature as well as three-dimensional wave spectra.

Our participation in this program is extremely timely since the technical developments have already been concluded and the technology of air-deployable DWSD and ALAMO floats is ready to be applied to scientific investigations and in a near-operational context. We propose to fabricate and deploy 32 A-size DWSBD as well as an ALAMO float with a wave sensor in each of the 3 years of fieldwork and provide the quality-controlled data to the NOPP participants.

The locations for deployment of our instruments will be determined in collaboration with the Task 1-2 and Task 4 modeling partners to test theories of targeted observations.

BAA: N00014-20-S-B001
BAA Topic: NOPP Predicting Hurricane Coastal Impacts FY21-FY24 Team Proposal for Task 3