ESRL Portable Air-Sea Flux Standard to Debut at INMARTECH2006

October 9, 2006

Chris Fairall and Sergio Pezoa from the NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory's (ESRL) Physical Sciences Division, will unveil the ESRL Portable Air-sea Flux Standard observing system during the 2006 International Marine Technicians Symposium (INMARTECH) October 17-19, in Woods Hole, MA. INMARTECH is an annual international exchange of knowledge and experiences between marine technicians to promote improvements in technology for scientific research vessels. The portable standard is being constructed at ESRL with funding from NOAA's Office of Climate Observations. ESRL is collaborating with Dr. Robert Weller of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) on the engineering and future deployment of the system. The ESRL seagoing flux system, which is permanently installed on the NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown, served as the prototype for the portable standard. The portable standard is based on a self-contained seatainer laboratory with wireless communications to individual sensors. For INMARTECH, the seatainer will be open to the public next to the R/V Oceanus at the WHOI pier.

The project is the result of a recent NOAA-sponsored workshop on high-resolution marine measurements which identified three important issues with the planned NOAA ocean observation system: 1) the need for a data quality assurance program to firmly establish that the observations meet the accuracy requirements, 2) the need for observations at high time resolution (about 1 minute), 3) and the need to more efficiently utilize research vessels, including realizing their potential for the highest quality data and their potential to provide more direct and comprehensive observations. To accomplish this task will require a careful intercomparison program to provide traceability of buoy, VOS, and RV accuracy to a set of standards.

This project directly addresses the need for accurate measures of air-sea exchange, and supports NOAA's collaborative efforts with national and international partners to implement an integrated global climate observing system.

Contact: Christopher Fairall More Information: