Development of an Autonomous Mobile Marine Meteorological Station – SWIMS

Balasuriya, A., Pennington, T., Scudere, T., McCann, Thayer, R., and Wronski, R.

Proceedings of IEEE OCEANS 2017, Anchorage, AK (September 2017).

Currently, atmospheric data is collected at the air-sea boundary layer by releasing radiosondes from surface ships or by mounting sensors to aircraft. Sea surface data is measured by either remote sensing or by attaching sensors to stationary surface buoys, onboard ships, and offshore platforms. Data collection processes can be time-consuming, challenging due to high sea states, and expensive due to ship time. Radiosondes are expendable as they are attached to free-flying balloons, which are lost when the balloon drifts out of communication range. Therefore, there is a high demand for the development of physically based parameterizations of air-sea fluxes in regional and global climate models. For physically based parameterization, it is necessary to have in situ measurements, using autonomous air-sea interaction mobile platforms. This paper presents the autonomous mobile marine meteorological system developed at Charles River Analytics, called Smart Weather Instruments (SWIMS). SWIMS samples the air-sea boundary layer and sends real-time data to remote stations on land. SWIMS consists of three steerable components to measure properties in air (up to 1km from the sea surface), on the sea surface and shallow underwater (upper layer of the sea).

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