The ability to observe physical oceanographic variables such as sea surface currents, temperature, salinity, external and internal tides, and surface waves support a vast array of stakeholders and missions, including weather forecasts, safe transport of large tanker vessels in and out of our nation’s harbors, safe drinking water, search and rescue operations, and the role of the ocean in climate variability.

Physical ocean observations also constrain computer models that are used by scientists to forecast future states of the ocean and to deconstruct existing or past conditions to determine what factors affect the ocean and coastal environment. Developing new or improved methods to observe the ocean, coastal and marine environment will help the Nation track, predict, manage, and adapt to changes in our ocean and coastal environment, and also to deliver critical information to decision makers as they seek to improve safety, enhance our economy, and protect our environment.

Ocean Technology Transition Projects

For information on Ocean Technology Transition projects funded to date in support of Physical Ocean Observations, click on the link(s) below.


A Real-time Sensor System for Detecting Freeze-up on Arctic Shelves



Operationalizing Real-Time Telemetry Onboard Commercial Fishing Vessels in the Northeast

Real-time Monitoring of the Impact of Observing Systems on Ocean Analysis – Forecast Systems in Support of U.S. IOOS

Operationalizing Real-Time Telemetry Onboard Commercial Fishing Vessels in the Northeast

Data Integration and Web-based Model Validation Tool for NOAA CO-OPS



Building Coupled Storm Surge and Wave Operational Forecasting Capacity for Western Alaska



Launching WebCOOS: Webcams for Coastal Observations and Operational Support 

Software Tools for the Mitigation of Wind Turbine Interference in the U.S. IOOS Network


For more information about IOOS’ Ocean Technology Transition program, please contact Tiffany Vance, Program Manager.