National Data Buoy Center (NDBC) National Backbone Contributions to the Integrated Ocean Observation System (IOOS) Conference Paper uri icon


  • As an integral part of the Integrated Ocean Observation System (IOOS) "National Backbone", the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Data Buoy Center (NDBC) is increasing the oceanographic capabilities of the NDBC Ocean Observing System (NOOS). The goal of the effort, known as Conversion of Weather Buoys (ConWxB), is to increase the number of ocean instruments on existing backbone buoys. The nascent IOOS regional associations were asked to provide suggestions of existing NDBC buoy locations to add directional wave, current profile, and salinity sensors within their regions. Most regional associations responded and in one case an update was forwarded to NDBC. Using these inputs and the upcoming buoy schedule for the next two years, an initial list of probable buoys was established for each type of sensor. An effort was made to respond to priority areas as provided by the regional associations. The criteria used to establish the ocean sensor suite on buoys and the distribution of sensors vertically within the water column will be discussed. Under Con WxB, NDBC is deploying ocean sensors on all buoys. Directional waves are derived primarily from the angular rate system (ARS) installed inside the buoys. However, the design of the six meter NOMAD buoy does not respond to ocean movement in a way conducive to provide directional ocean waves from this system. Directional wave sensors will be therefore be deployed on three meter buoys. In addition, NDBC has a long history of supporting the Army Corps of Engineers with high resolution heave, pitch, and roll (HIPPY) sensors, which will continue. Doppler current profilers will be employed on approximately three dozen three meter and ten meter buoys. The remainder of the NDBC buoys, including six meter NOMAD buoys, will be equipped with near surface current meters. NDBC has gained experience deploying acoustic Doppler current profilers under the Coastal Storms Program and a project associated with the Minerals Management Service Twelve three meter discus buoys have been selected for conductivity/temperature strings and another thirty buoys will have conductivity/temperature sensors attached to the bridle. These later buoys include the six meter NOMAD and ten and twelve meter discus buoys. NDBC is deploying a new 1.8 meter discuss buoy with directional waves and ADCP sensors, and a new compact meteorology package. These buoys will primarily be associated with NDBC Coastal Marine Automated Network (C-MAN) sites. After a successful testing stage, NDBC will deploy eleven of the 1.8 meter buoys. The addition of these ocean assets to the National Backbone for IOOS supports the individual regional associations and the goals of NOAA. The implementation of ConWxB has already begun and should be completed by the end of Fiscal Year 2007. The increased complexity of transmission, processing, and display of real-time oceanographic data at NDBC is also begin addressed through a number of current programs and initiatives. ©2006 IEEE.

author list (cited authors)

  • Crout, R. L., Conlee, D. T., & Bernard, L. J.

citation count

  • 1

publication date

  • January 2006