Search
Close this search box.

We are creating some awesome events for you. Kindly bear with us.

Improved Sensors for Better Satellite Measurement of Climate Impact

Researchers are working to renew sea-based sensors, dubbed MOBY-Refresh, to improve satellite accuracy in reading ocean colours. The ocean colours are essential as an indicator of Earth’s climate. The new sensors will allow for more precise and accurate measurements of the colours or wavelengths of sunlight. NOAA, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories (MLML), the University of Miami, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have collaborated on an upgrade to the sensor.

The ocean usually appears blue, but in some places, it seems blue-green. The difference was caused by the presence of single-celled plants called phytoplankton, which contains chlorophyll and reflect green in the sunlight.

Despite their small size, phytoplankton absorbs nearly as much carbon dioxide as all the trees and land plants combined. Therefore, they have a massive impact on the climate. Scientists are studying phytoplankton intensity by measuring the colour of the ocean with satellites and sea-based sensors. To ensure the accuracy of satellite measurements, researchers in the United States and many other countries rely on the Marine Optical Buoy (MOBY).

“MOBY measures the amount of light scattered out of the water at a single location in the Pacific Ocean across a range of wavelengths. Ocean-colour satellite sensors, including the MOBY site, monitor the oceans. The MOBY data are then delivered to satellite teams, who use the data to adjust the calibration of the satellite sensors, hence improving the accuracy of global data products such as chlorophyll concentration,” explained NIST researcher Carol Johnson.

MOBY comprises two main buoys: an optical buoy that measures and records light and a mooring buoy that keeps the optical buoy in place. A central mast extends underwater on the optical buoy. The mast has three pole-like arms, each with light-collecting optical fibres. Optical fibre collectors detect light at depths of 1 metre (3.3 feet), 5 metres (16.4 feet), and 9 metres (29.4 feet). Spectrographs at the bottom of the central mast measure light as a function of wavelength at each of the three depths.

MOBY is located 20 kilometres (12 miles) off the coast of Lanai, Hawaii because the atmosphere and water conditions are ideal for calibrating ocean-colour satellite sensors. The ocean water is clear and low in chlorophyll, representing the rest of the world’s oceans. The atmosphere is also clear, with few clouds, ensuring the global utility of the measurements.

MOBY is being upgraded as part of the Refresh project with a new optical system, support structures, and control system. According to Johnson, data analysis is ongoing, but preliminary comparisons to MOBY Buoy276, which is currently in the ocean, are very encouraging.

The upgrade to the optical system includes a better spectrograph that can measure sunlight at all three depths simultaneously, reducing environmental sources of uncertainty such as fluctuations in buoy tilt and arm depth, as well as changes in light as ocean waves focus it. In addition, the optical buoy is now made of carbon fibre rather than fibreglass and metal, which makes the structure more robust and increases its lifetime at sea.

In addition to MOBY-Refresh, the team is working on a similar instrument called MarONet, which will be used by a future NASA satellite mission called PACE (Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem). The optical system’s instrument design will be similar to Refresh but with a more portable buoy.

The optical system in the MarONet project can be disassembled and transported to a central location for calibration and characterisation. Calibration describes how the input affects the instrument output, whereas characterisation describes how this relationship changes in the presence of all possible influencing factors, such as ambient temperature.

The MarONet buoy will be deployed off the coast of Western Australia, with the central location for calibration and maintenance in Hawaii, where the central MOBY hub is. NIST’s role in this process will be to monitor the optical system for changes during transportation. The site planning for Australia has begun, led by Curtin University in Perth co-investigator David Antoine. The visual and mooring buoy equipment will be delivered to Australia in 2023.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

PARTNER

As a Titanium Black Partner of Dell Technologies, CTC Global Singapore boasts unparalleled access to resources.

Established in 1972, we bring 52 years of experience to the table, solidifying our position as a leading IT solutions provider in Singapore. With over 300 qualified IT professionals, we are dedicated to delivering integrated solutions that empower your organization in key areas such as Automation & AI, Cyber Security, App Modernization & Data Analytics, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Renowned for our consulting expertise and delivering expert IT solutions, CTC Global Singapore has become the preferred IT outsourcing partner for businesses across Singapore.

PARTNER

Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.