Operational Oceanography in support of marine traffic

Dr Roger Proctor1, Ms Penny Haire1, Mr Henry Nichols1, Dr Clothilde Langlais2

1Tidetech, Hobart, Aus, 2CSIRO CEM, Hobart, Aus

Ninety per cent of world commerce is carried by 50,000 commercial vessels traversing the planet’s oceans and coastal seas. Increasingly these vessels are required to conform to navigational and environmental constraints, for example shipping lanes, piracy no-go regions and low emission zones. These constraints bring efficiency requirements to the fore – for example to conform to US and EU standards for air quality ocean-going ships carry two fuel types, a high grade fuel for use in low emission coastal zones and a lower grade fuel for ocean transits; minimising the use of high grade (and hence expensive) fuel becomes a priority. Passage transits can be made safer with advanced warnings of storm centres and wind/wave conditions; an example is the LNG carrier business which is affected by certain wave fields creating ‘sloshing’ in the LNG tanks. The industry is looking to science to provide reliable, accurate and appropriate information.

 

Providing efficient access to the necessary information to meet these requirements requires a complex computational infrastructure. Demands for forecasts of ocean currents, tides, waves and weather parameters up to 10-15 days in advance are now the standard requirements. Increasingly, as companies recognise the value of these data, the need is for hindcast data as well, so that historical voyages, for which they have data, can be used to calibrate future requirements.

 

This talk will give an overview of industry requirements, of the infrastructure built to acquire and deliver to their requirements, and examples of how different sector requirements are implemented.


Biography:
Roger Proctor is a founding director of Tidetech, a company initially set up to provide ocean data to recreational sailing, with subsequent expansion to support elite sailing and commercial shipping. He has a PhD in coastal oceanography from the University of Liverpool, UK and spent 25 years as a research scientist at the Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory, Liverpool (now National Oceanography Centre) before moving to Australia in 2008 to join IMOS as the Director of the Australian Ocean Data Network. He retired from IMOS in December 2018.

The Surface Water Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission: Opportunities and challenges

Dr Shane Keating1

1UNSW Sydney, Sydney, Australia

In the coming decade, new satellite missions will map Earth’s surface water and sea level (ocean topography) at a resolution that has not been possible before. These observations will provide critical information that is needed to assess water resources on land, track regional sea level changes, monitor coastal processes, and observe small-scale ocean currents and eddies. The first of these satellites, the NASA/CNES Surface Water Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission, is scheduled for launch in late 2021.

In this talk, I will present an overview of the SWOT mission objectives and discuss future challenges and opportunities for operational oceanography in the region. I will also outline the goals and activities of the Australian Surface Water and Ocean Topography Working Group (www.auswot.org), a consortium of researchers and stakeholders in academia, government, and industry working to develop Australia’s capability in the field of wide-swath altimetry.


Biography:
I am a Senior Lecturer at the School of Mathematics and Statistics at UNSW Sydney. My research focuses on utilizing new developments in the fields of applied mathematics, satellite remote sensing, and physical oceanography to understand the influence of mesoscale and submesoscale ocean features on ocean circulation, climate, and marine ecology.

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