Weather Information through AIS:
AOOS will partner with the Marine Exchange of Alaska to implement Automatic Identification System (AIS) transmitters to disseminate real-time weather data, buoy data, and weather forecasts to vessels. The Marine Exchange operates a network of over 80 AIS receiving stations, covering most of the state. By establishing joint WX/AIS stations at existing AIS locations, and installing new stations in remote areas, real-time information can be digitally displayed on a vessel’s AIS Minimum Keyboard Display or integrated into the vessel’s chart plotter for immediate use in navigation. The first sites will likely be at Cordova and Five Fingers Lighthouse in southeast Alaska.
Electronic Sea Ice Atlas
AOOS will partner with the Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy (ACCAP) to produce an atlas consisting of digitally stored sea ice extent and concentration data on a grid covering all Alaska coastal waters to a distance of approximately 300 n mi (500 km) from shore. The spatial resolution will be 5-10 km, and the time-resolution will be weekly, spanning the period from the early 1950s through 2010 and allow for subsequent updates. The accompanying statistical software will enable probabilistic depictions of ice coverage of various concentrations on specific calendar dates at user-specified locations. The software will include the capability for computation of area totals of ice coverage, opening and closing dates for various shipping corridors, seasonal severity indices, and other measures to be determined through discussions with potential users.
AOOS will work with the Prince William Sound Science Center (PWSSC) to purchase, test, and deploy a profiling mooring at the central Prince William Sound (PWS) site that has been used as a CTD station for most research programs conducted in PWS. This effort is focused on providing high frequency depth-specific information on hydrographic properties, both for model assimilation and ground-truthing and also to augment a long-term dataset.
AOOS will place a thermosalinograph on a vessel of opportunity to collect measurements of surface water properties. A second thermosalinograph will be installed on the PWSSC research vessel New Wave. In later years (2013-15), partial support from AOOS will maintain these surveys, verifying that the oceanographic model continues to represent conditions. The combination of the transiting vessel data, CTD cruises, and chemical/biological data will help advance PWS’s circulation and biological models.
Many of the tide stations in PWS provide long-term records of water temperature and meteorological variables. AOOS will work to identify an appropriate technology for expanding the existing observational capabilities. This effort will begin with a partnership with the Oil Spill Recovery Institute (OSRI) and NOAA to test the use of conductivity sensors at the Cordova tide station. This work will be combined with monitoring efforts of the Cordova school students to test the accuracy of the sensors over time.
Oceanographic observations in Cook Inlet
The need for additional oceanographic (temperature/salinity) observations in Cook Inlet has been identified as a high priority by the AOOS-sponsored Cook Inlet modeling working group, the 2005 Cook Inlet Physical Oceanography Workshop, and other stakeholder meetings. In this project, we propose to collect oceanographic data along repeated transects in Kachemak Bay and lower Cook Inlet, through deployment of CTDs. This sampling would support development and validation of the NOAA operational circulation forecast model, as well as the understanding of variability in estuarine and coastal ocean acidification. We propose to conduct repeated small boat CTD surveys in Kachemak Bay and lower Cook Inlet. CTD data will be provided to NOAA’s CSDL to support development of an operational NOAA circulation model and to the AOOS data management team. The project will leverage an existing CTD provided by the Kasitsna Bay Lab.