Ocean Surface Current Analyses-Real time

Project Description
OSCAR Website: http://www.oscar.noaa.gov/index.html

This project is developing a processing system and data center to provide
operational ocean surface velocity fields from satellite altimeter and vector
wind data.

The regional focus will be the tropical Pacific, where we will demonstrate the
value for a variety of users, specifically fisheries management and
recruitment, monitoring debris drift, larvae drift, oil spills, fronts and
eddies, as well as on-going large scale ENSO monitoring, diagnostics and
prediction. We will encourage additional uses in search and rescue, naval and
maritime operations. The data will be subjected to extensive validation and
error analysis, and applied to various ocean, climate and dynamic basic
research problems. The user base derives from the NOAA CoastWatch and climate
prediction programs, the broad research community, the Navy's operational ocean
analysis program, and other civilian uses. The end product is to leave in place
a turnkey system running at NOAA/NESDIS, with an established user clientele and
easy internet data access.

The method to derive surface currents with satellite altimeter and
scatterometer data is the outcome of several years NASA sponsored research.

The proposed project will transition that capability to operational
oceanographic applications. The end product will be velocity maps updated
daily, with a goal for eventual 2-day maximum delay from time of satellite
measurement. Grid resolution will be 100 km for the basin scale, and finer
resolution in the vicinity of the Pacific Islands. The team consists of private
non-profit, educational and government partners with broad experience and
familiarity with the data, and the scientific and technical issues. Two
Partners are the original developers of the surface current derivation
techniques, and two are closely tied to satellite data sources and primary
processing centers. Others represent NOAA/NESDIS, Climate Prediction Center,
CoastWatch, NMFS and the Navy to evaluate uses and applications.