TEXAS AUTOMATED BUOY SYSTEM PROVIDES SITUATIONAL AWARENESS OF WINDS AND CURRENTS ON THE COAST OF TEXAS Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Texas has established an operational system that provides observations of wind and currents to the State On-Scene Coordinator. The Texas Automated Buoy System (TABS) began in 1994 with five current meter buoys. Buoys measure current velocity 2m below the surface and transmit data on a regular schedule via satellite communications. Most buoys measure winds using acoustic wind sensors and some buoys are configured with profiling current meters. Larger buoys use solid-state accelerometers to measure waves. Buoys use solar panels to charge lead-acid batteries and can operate unattended for periods up to a year with the limitation being summertime biological fouling. TABS makes use of six different types of buoys with each filling its own particular niche to support trajectory modeling. These include TABS I, II, 2.25m and 3m buoys. A new coastal monitoring buoy (CMB) is a 1.4m solar charged buoy designed for extended operation in shallow water to measure current profiles, waves and MET data. The TABS Responder is a small, lightweight, rechargeable buoy designed for short deployments from any vessel of opportunity at the site of an oil spill. Designed for shallow water (>40m), the buoy measures waves, current profiles and meteorological data. GERG has a fleet of four Responder buoys that will be capable of deployment with short notice in the event of an emergency. Data from the buoys are transmitted to computers at College station TX where they undergo automated quality control before posting on a dedicated web page. Data are disseminated via the internet to the state and federal governments. Public presentation of the data takes place in three different time frames. Data are available in near real time on a web page that displays data for the past four days. A Real Time Analysis program process the data every 24 hours and presents a series of data products including stick plots, current and wind roses, and distribution tables. A monthly Hindcast Analysis looks at the previous month's data, performs additional quality control, and prepares final plots. Finally a monthly Climatology program produces climatological summaries of the all data by month and year.

author list (cited authors)

  • Guinasso, N. L., Walpert, J. N., Lee, L. L., DiMarco, S. F., & Buschang, S.

citation count

  • 0

publication date

  • May 2014