OPTOMA Program interim report: The Airborne Ocean Thermal Structure Mapping Project, February, 1983 through February, 1985
Colton, Marie C.
Mooers, Christopher N. K.
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The Ocean Prediction Through Observation, Modeling and Analysis (OPTOMA) Program goals are to develop an ocean descriptive predictive system for studying and forecasting the evolution of ocean mesoscale features and the California Current System. Attainment of these goals requires the establishment of a broad-base ocean observing and monitoring system that includes, hydrographic research cruises, moored arrays, and remotely sensed data, etc. To forecast the evolution of the oceanic flow field, the observing system must include a means of obtaining real-time, synoptic maps for the initialization and verification of the dynamic model(s) used. P3 flights to deploy airborne expendable bathythermographs are a clear choice for frequent mappings. Since Feb. 1983 six OPTOMA missions have been flown. A total of 325 AXBTs have been successfully deployed off the northern and central California coasts. Data analysis reinforce recent discoveries about the character of the California Current System: the current regime is highly variable in nature and is comprised of cool anomalies, mesoscale eddies, 'squirts' and jets, current filaments and fronts. An airborne digital data acquisition system, built around an HP9816 microprocessor and a Sippican MK9 digitizing unit, digitizes the AXBT audio signal, then stores the profiles on diskette
Portions of this report were presented at the Fall Annual Meeting, AGU, San Francisco, 4 December, 19S4.
NPS Report NumberNPS-68-85-008
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