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A Review of the 2014 Gulf of Mexico Wave Glider® Field Program

Fitzpatrick, P. J., Lau, Y. H., Moorhead, R. J., Skarke, A., Merritt, D., Kreider, K., Brown, C., Carlon, R., Hine, G., Lampoudi, T., & Leonardi, A. (2015). A Review of the 2014 Gulf of Mexico Wave Glider® Field Program. Marine Technology Society Journal. Marine Technology Society. 49(3), 64-71. DOI:10.4031/MTSJ.49.3.14.


Sustained observations of oceanographic and atmospheric boundary layer conditions are imperative for the investigation of tropical cyclone genesis, for numerical model input to predict track and intensity, and in general, for many environmental monitoring needs. We present preliminary results of a Fall 2014 100-day deployment ofWave Glider platforms in the eastern Gulf ofMexico designed to dynamically collect surface weather, water temperature, wave, and ocean current profile data within tropical cyclones. Data were collected and retransmitted near real time through a Liquid Robotics interface to regional and national data portals such as the National Data Buoy Center and secondarily also used by the private sector. Accomplishments include buoy loitering for validation exercises, data gap filling, platform redeployments, and an interception of the fringes of Tropical Storm Hanna. Preliminary buoy loitering assessments using bias and absolute error metrics showed reasonable agreement with buoys for atmospheric pressure, wave, and height-adjusted wind data but that the temperature hardware requires an improved sensor. A full assessment of the potential for the sustained collection and real-time dissemination of environmental data for Wave Glider platforms is presented including lessons learned.

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