National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Wallops Flight Facility



Welcome to NASA Wallops Flight Facility’s Coastal Ocean Observation Laboratory (WaCOOL). WaCOOL is a key component of the Center for Innovative Technology’s (CIT) Coastal Observations Program (CoastalObs). NOAA-funded, the CoastalObs program is a collaborative effort supported by CIT, NOAA, NASA/Wallops and various academic and commercial institutions. Our research focuses on the characteristics and biophysical processes of the coastal waters surrounding the Delmarva Peninsula (Delaware, Maryland, Virginia).


Located at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, the Coastal Data Acquisition and Archive Center (CODAAC) was designed and developed to ingest, archive, and distribute data in support of the Coastal Observations Program. The initial dataset will be surface current measurements from the newly installed CODARs observing the Delmarva coastal regions. The initial hardware configuration includes 5 terabytes of usable disk storage shared via a fiber-channel Storage Area Network (SAN), a multi-terabyte tape changer, a dual-processor file server and three dual-processor compute servers. The CODAAC hosts a website for access to browse/data products and supports standards-based interfaces for data exchange.


The CODAAC archives and distributes both in-situ and remotely-observed scientific products with a focus on Local Area Coverage (LAC) data. Some of these products are hilighted below.

    Three Coastal Ocean Surface Current Radar (CODAR) systems are being deployed along the Delmarva coast. The CODARs will be installed in remote locations on Assateague Island, Cedar Island, and Cape Henry. These systems will allow us to obtain real-time data on surface currents and wave state for the entire Delmarva Region. CODAR uses radar doppler shift to determine surface current direction and velocity from the backscattered radio wave. Technical information can be found at
    The Ocean-Air Sensor Integration System (OASIS) is an autonomous surface vehicle which functions as a platform for operating any number of oceanographic and meteorological instruments. It is powered by solar panels and an electric motor, can reach speeds in excess of 3 knots, and is controlled remotely by satellite communication.
  • AIS
    The Automated Identification System (AIS) is a VHF radio technology which broadcasts vessel position and information at regular intervals. We are currently testing this technology with an AIS receiver located at Wallops Flight Facility. If testing is successful, we hope to deploy AIS receivers to the remote CODAR locations and onboard our OASIS autonomous surface vehicles. More information on AIS can be found at the US Coast Guard website.
  • Cruise/Buoy Data
    The Coastal Bio-Optical Buoy (COBY) is a scientific mooring which will be deployed approximately 25 miles offshore of Wallops Island, VA. The buoy will house instruments to measure the meteorological, biological, and physical oceanographic properties of the region. Every two weeks, a transect (COBY) cruise is performed to sample the waters from Wallops Island, VA out to the COBY mooring site. Upon installation of the mooring, these cruises will also include servicing of the instrumentation on the buoy. Also, larger four-day seasonal (BIOME) cruises are conducted which thoroughly sample the coastal waters of the entire region from Lewes, DE down to the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay.
  • Satellite Data
    The CODAAC is currently downloading and archiving regional subsets of various satellite datasets, including MODIS sea surface temperatures, MODIS chlorophyll and SeaWifs ocean color.