Extensible physical oceanographic real-time system (PORTS)




Wilmot WL
Galt JA
Cheng RT

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IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA


NOAA's PORTS is a decision support system to facilitate safe and efficient maritime commerce and effective environmental resource management. PORTS is installed in Tampa Bay, New York/New Jersey Harbor, Houston/Galveston, and San Francisco Bay. PORTS consists of real-time observations of ocean conditions and weather, computer model nowcasts and forecasts of ocean fields, and dissemination of data via a telephone voice data response system and Internet. PORTS information ensures that an adequate margin of safety is available to larger and larger ships in channels which are being deepened but not significantly widened. PORTS provides information permitting shippers to load their vessels to take full advantage of real-time water levels and channel improvements. PORTS information guides hazardous materials spill prevention and response as well as effective ecosystem health management. The San Francisco Bay PORTS is the model for a future National PORTS. That model is an extensible PORTS based on an Information Hub Concept (InfoHub) which will permit PORTS to adapt to evolving user needs. The extensible PORTS provides standard sensor interfaces to encourage the addition of non-NOAA sensors to the system. A data base provides a broad user community with access through downloadable applications and applets on Internet. PORTS provides information broadcast to shipboard vector and raster Electronic Chart and Information Display Systems and a Lockheed Martin/Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Navigation and Piloting Expert Systems (NPES). An open architecture design will encourage commercial and academic partners to participate in National PORTS development




Computer architecture, Database systems, Decision support systems, Ecosystems, Environmental protection, Expert systems, Interfaces (computer), Management, Navigation, Oceanographic equipment, Oceanography, Real time systems, Ships, Voice/data communication systems, Water, Water levels, Weather forecasting, Wide area networks