October 11, 2002

Two-Week Pilot Study Examines Nearshore Currents and Waves at Black's Beach:

Scientists Monitor Real-Time Data with HPWREN-Like Technology

Scientists from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) Integrative Oceanography Division (IOD) and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) are currently conducting a two-week pilot study that uses 802.11b technology to help them examine surf zone water motions in real-time.

With assistance from the HPWREN team as well as the UCSD Administrative Computing, and Telecommunication Services (ACT) and the Office of Network Operations (ONO), several SIO and WHOI scientists have deployed two in-situ current and wave measuring stations in shallow water at Black's Beach. These stations are connected to an autonomous data acquisition system on the beach which telemeters the data in real-time, via a wireless Ethernet bridge on Scripps Pier, directly to IOD and WHOI laboratories for analysis.

"The real-time data that is now being streamed from the beach to our labs allows researchers to better understand beach erosion and nearshore circulation," explains Jerome Wanetick, a computer scientist at SIO's Integrative Oceanography Division. "Once this pilot study is complete, we will make our final plans for next fall's larger experiment involving ten of these telemetry stations."

The "larger experiment" that Wanetick refers to is the 2003 Nearshore Canyon Experiment (NCEX), which has been proposed to the Office of Naval Research and the National Science Foundation. Once finished, the NCEX will encompass a nearshore processes community model that allows scientists to better study the evolution of surface gravity waves propagating across the continental shelf through the shoaling region and surf zone. The NCEX will also concentrate on corresponding inner shelf and breaking-wave driven nearshore circulation, sediment transport, and subsequent bathymetric change.

While the telemetry instruments are mounted on a steel frame located between the beach and ten feet of water depth, a 40-inch grid antenna allows the station to deliver real-time data from Black's Beach to Scripps Pier, which utilizes a 180-degree sector antenna. The Internet connection originates at the pier via SIO's AP-2 access point. The data is then accessible by IOD and WHOI researchers - in real-time.

For additional photographs of the equipment being used during this month's pilot study, please see http://hpwren.ucsd.edu/Photos/20021009/.

For details regarding the feasibility demonstration that took place in June 2001, please refer to http://hpwren.ucsd.edu/news/010629.html.


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