On November 16, NOAA Administrator, Dr. Jane Lubchenco, and Kelly Wright, Director of NOAA’s Technology Partnerships Office, awarded the NOAA Patent Holders Award to Dr. Chung -Chu Teng, Richard Bouchard and Dr. Rodney Riley of the National Weather Service (NWS) National Data Buoy Center, for successfully patenting a system for “measuring spectra of surface ocean waves in near real-time.” The patent, which was awarded in June 2012, describes a “moored buoy floating at the ocean surface and anchored to the seafloor precisely measur[ing] acceleration, pitch, roll, and Earth's magnetic flux field of the buoy over a limited sampling period.”
Off-shore buoys are used for a number of purposes such as navigation, communication, and to measure weather and wave conditions. While many existing weather buoys adequately measure wave height, it does not measure wave direction. Scientists and others may find wave direction data useful in studying shore erosion and other environmental impacts of waves.
This invention can be used by research organizations, commercial entities, or the general public to obtain detailed information for safe and efficient maritime operations. Directional wave spectrum is measured using a system of sensors, processors, and algorithms used on a moored buoy. These measurements provide essential information for uses such as marine weather analysis, forecasts, and warnings. Additionally, the data received from the surface ocean wave spectra assist with maritime operations and safety, planning and design of coastal structures and processes, information for ocean and coastal zone activities, validation of remotely sensed surface ocean wave systems and forensic for at-sea mishaps.