WASHINGTON — U.S. Naval Research Laboratory researchers from the Ocean and Atmospheric Science and Technology Directorate alongside with the Scientific Development Squadron (VXS) 1’s UV-18 Twin Otter carried out airborne analysis final month in Homer, Alaska.

The crew’s goal was to measure bubbles utilizing lidar, a laser system for measuring the ocean properties. Improved understanding of bubble fields has many functions, together with radiance, floor properties, and characterization of the ocean’s floor.

“We are characterizing bubble fields to help better predict the ocean environment for Navy operations,” stated Damien Josset, Ph.D., an NRL oceanographer and principal investigator of the venture who carried out the experiments onboard the Twin Otter.

Quantifying the oceanic whitecaps and subsurface bubbles is essential to the Navy’s oceanographic fashions to characterize the lengthy-time period evolution of the ocean setting as a result of bubbles are the first manner the environment and oceans trade warmth, momentum, and gasoline.

Current distant sensing strategies for ocean analysis rely totally on passive observations at totally different wavelengths, together with, seen, infrared, and microwave to estimate water leaving radiance and floor properties, resembling sea floor temperature, salinity, and wind.

“Lidar is fundamentally different because visible light penetrates well into the water body and it has the unique capability to provide a vertical profile of ocean properties,” Josset stated.

NRL’s lidar system consists of a self-contained unit put in in a weatherproof enclosure, designed to be mounted on the Twin Otter’s analysis compartment with the laser pointed down into the water.

The venture required excessive floor winds to create bubbles, or breaking waves, and good flying climate.

“It’s difficult to characterize the bubbles’ vertical properties, especially at global scale, which makes lidar an ideal tool to measure the bubble structure and properties,” stated Josset.

The crew deployed two underwater echo sounders and flew over the identical space with the brand new airborne lidar system. The system was constructed with inside NRL primary analysis funding and can be a expertise demonstrator for Josset’s Office of Naval Research CubeSat and Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement oil initiatives.

“The goal is to test a small lidar that can provide high-resolution measurements of the ocean’s physical properties and of oil thickness, in case of oil spills,” Josset stated.

“By improving the ability to characterize bubbly surfaces, improvements to ocean modeling and acoustic simulation can be achieved, as propagation can be significantly impacted by rough, bubbly ocean surfaces,” Josset stated.

About the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory

NRL is a scientific and engineering command devoted to analysis that drives modern advances for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps from the seafloor to area and within the info area. NRL is situated in Washington, D.C. with main area websites in Stennis Space Center, Mississippi; Key West, Florida; Monterey, California, and employs roughly 2,500 civilian scientists, engineers and assist personnel.

For extra info, contact NRL Corporate Communications at (202) 480-3746 or [email protected]

Date Taken: 03.19.2021
Date Posted: 03.19.2021 12:50
Story ID: 391851
Location: US

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