Marine Science Faculty Publications


In Situ Observations and Satellite Remote Sensing in Seacoos: Program Development and Lessons Learned

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2008

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


In situ observing and satellite remote sensing components of the Southeast Atlantic Coastal Ocean Observing System (SEACOOS) implemented from 2002 through 2006 are reviewed and "lessons learned" from the operation of these systems are summarized. The in situ observing program built upon several efforts initiated at academic institutions in the southeast U.S. prior to 2002. The partnership and observing capacity were expanded as the SEACOOS program developed. Sustained near real-time in situ observations were obtained from buoys, offshore towers, pier and shore stations, and mobile platforms (ships, gliders, drifters) using several communications options. The SEACOOS observing program also included several test-bed studies, and a pilot program in regional satellite remote sensing utilized established capabilities at partner institutions to deliver satellite products in near real-time to SEACOOS. Many of the SEACOOS observing activities leveraged personnel and infrastructure resources at partner institutions and support from complementary research projects. The SEACOOS experience provides a number of pragmatic (operational) "lessons learned" that are relevant to the future operation of a Regional Coastal Ocean Observing System (RCOOS). Adequate support of experienced personnel is critical to the efficient, sustained operation of a real-time observing network. Also required are sufficient inventories of spare components, appropriate transportation options to accommodate both routine and unscheduled maintenance, robust communications with sufficient bandwidth and back-up options, and data logging on deployment platforms to minimize gaps in the time-series. RCOOS planning should include mechanisms to ensure effective communications on operational matters among technical personnel within and across regions.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Marine Technology Society Journal, v. 42, issue 3, p. 41-54