Sea Technology

JAN 2018

The industry's recognized authority for design, engineering and application of equipment and services in the global ocean community

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www.sea-technology.com January 2018 | ST 17 We are always looking to new technologies to fill ob- servational gaps and improve capabilities and cost-effi- ciencies. Unmanned systems are helping fill those gaps. Saildrones are being tested in the tropical Pacific and col- lecting data in the Arctic. For just $10 in parts, NOAA's sea temperature sensor can now monitor temperatures on any coral reef with high accuracy. A unique fresh- water environmental sample processor was deployed to monitor western Lake Erie for harmful algal bloom toxin. A new, integrated, cost-effective nutrient sensor was also developed. The recently released final National Charting Plan will improve NOAA nautical chart coverage, products and distribution. Navigating narrow channels will be safer because NOAA's acoustic Doppler current profiler sys- tem is now operational. Charismatic deep-ocean species became media stars when high-definition video and photos taken by the ROV Deep Discoverer were transmitted to shore in real time. This was part of a three-year NOAA ship Okeanos Explor- er mission to study, survey and map deepwater in U.S. marine protected areas in the central and western Pacific. The two-body ROV, capable of diving to 6,000 m, carried a scientific sensor payload for ecosystem measurements. A comprehensive international seafloor mapping effort, Seabed 2030, intends to create a high-quality, high-resolution digital model of the ocean floor. NOAA is collecting and hosting data to support this initiative. Ocean Observations and Exploration In the Blue Economy Future Investing in ocean observation science and technolo- gies makes sense. The ocean, both its natural resources and uses, is a key economic driver. The future of ocean observations and exploration de- pends on a science and technology community that can do several things effectively. First, we must sustain ocean observations and exploration to meet immediate and fu- ture societal needs. This includes data to improve weath- er forecasting, climate science and climate prediction. We also must fully embrace the biological, so we can sustainably manage fisheries, coral reefs, protected spe- cies and other valuable marine resources and activities, from deep-sea mining to aquaculture. Second, we must develop technological tools to achieve science and operational goals. Observational platforms should be cost-effective, multipurpose, adap- tive samplers capable of withstanding the elements. Data integration and visualization should be firmly planted in our strategy. Policies and programs need to keep pace with emergent technologies. Third, coordination is essential to optimize impacts and dollars across the observation and exploration en- terprises. Agencies benefit from regular dialog with aca- demia, industry and other private sector organizations to communicate the nation's needs and match partners with needs. Novel partnerships and approaches are emerg- ing. The Ocean Exploration Trust, XPRIZE Foundation, Schmidt Ocean Institute and Paul G. Allen Philanthropies have already stepped forward. op climate projections and monitor changes in ocean conditions that affect marine ecosystems, including com- mercially important fisheries and aquaculture. Resource managers and policymakers can use NOAA science to inform policy that affects public safety, national security and economic outcomes. As need and demand for ocean data grow, the blue economy is gaining traction. Ocean-based industries generated $1.5 trillion in global revenue in 2010 (the latest report) and supported 31 million full-time jobs. In the U.S., more than 400 companies are responsible for a $7 billion ocean enterprise. In 2017, the Group of 20, the world's leading industrialized and emerging national economies, called for investment and growth in a sus- tainable ocean economy. Progress in Ocean Observations and Exploration in 2017 Launched in late 2016, NOAA's GOES-16 geostation- ary weather satellite provides unprecedented access to high-quality data to improve hurricane forecasting and tornado warning lead times. The newly launched Po- lar-orbiting Joint Polar Satellite System, JPSS-1, is pro- viding unparalleled perspective on the planet's weather plus higher-resolution sea surface temperature; analyzing ocean color to measure marine species at the base of the food chain; and using sea-ice data to aid maritime industries, search and rescue, and fisheries and protected species management. NOAA aircraft collected more than 65,000 aerial im- ages over 9,200 square miles to assess damage to homes, communities, infrastructure, major ports, waterways and coastlines and to assist with recovery and port and water- way reopenings after the 2017 hurricanes. Seasonal and long-range forecasts require ocean data. NOAA is leading the international redesign of the Tropi- cal Pacific Observing System by 2020 to improve season- al forecasts and prediction of El Niño- and La Niña-relat- ed events. We continue to improve observational capacity. This year, in a new partnership, Paul G. Allen Philanthropies and NOAA will deploy the largest-ever array of Deep Argo floats. It will be the first to cover an entire ocean ba- sin, the Brazil Basin of the western South Atlantic Ocean. At the other pole, the U.S. Arctic Observing Network, to which we contribute, is expanding sustained observa- tions in the Arctic. NOAA is also working with the U.S. Navy on design and construction of the first vessels in the NOAA fleet re- capitalization project. Ships are vital components of our ocean missions. Sustainability of valuable fisheries and marine resourc- es depends on our ability to monitor ocean ecosystems and changing ocean conditions. For example, the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing Systems (IOOS) initiated the Marine Biodiversity Observing Network, a sustained, integrated, biological observing program, with federal, academic and industry partners that include NOAA sci- entists. Another example is the U.S. (NOAA) bio-Argo program, with the National Science Foundation, starting a Southern Ocean experiment.

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