National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Wallops Flight Facility


April 08′ Update

We are now in the final year of the CoastalObs project. As you know, CoastalObs will conclude August 31 , 2008. Much of the CoastalObs effort will continue on with other sponsorship. The CODAR equipment will continue to be utilized for the NOAA-sponsored Phased Deployment and Operation of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Coastal Ocean Observing System (MARCOOS) project we are working on with Rutgers University and other MACOORA partners. NASA will fund some of the programs currently being supported by CoastalObs, at a reduced level. They will continue to operate and derive value from the Coastal Bio-Optical Buoy (COBY); continue the COBY cross-shelf surveys; continue to develop, operate and fabricate OASIS platforms; and continue to operate the CODAAC data server.

We will conduct a final program review at Wallops Island on June 6, 2008. In addition to program updates, we will discuss the plan for the remainder of the project, contarct closeout procedures, and the final report.

April 07′ Update

Hopefully the cold weather is gone for the year and the good weather is here to stay! Today the concrete foundation is being poured for the second standard-range CODAR site in Ocean View, VA., and it will be operational shortly. Our last long-range CODAR site will also be up soon. The COBY is nearing completion, and we are aiming for a late spring deployment. We are still conducting OASIS testing and are getting ready to procure more platforms. The cross-shelf surveys are continuing and all of our participants in the educational
Outreach program are looking forward to a very productive spring and summer.

We will conduct a program review at Wallops Island on 10 May 2007. In addition to program updates, we will discuss the proposed work plan for the final year of the program (1 Sep 2007-31 Aug 2008). CIT contracts personnel will be on hand to discuss the subcontract submissions for this final year. There will be no ‘no-cost’ extensions issued. New subcontracts will be required for everyone. Please insure that there is a representative from your organization at the meeting.

Feb 07′ Update

Despite the weather, it has been a very productive month for CoastalObs. The first standard range CODAR (25 MHz) is now operational. It is located on the fourth island of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. The second system will be located at Community beach, Ocean View. We are expecting the building permit for this site to be approved shortly. As soon as the weather permits, the final long range CODAR site will be installed at the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge. These final two installations will complete our CoastalObs CODAR network.

OASIS I is being retrofitted to OASIS II specifications, and power budget testing is ongoing. Next week, OASIS II is scheduled to conduct air-sea gas and heat flux testing.

Unfortunately, the high seas and inclement weather conditions kept us from completing any COBY Cruises this past month. However, the time was used the time in the laboratory to complete the processing of samples backlogged from COBY and BIOME Cruises, including cyanobacteria counts, pigment analyses, and nutrient levels.

The NASA Wallops Flight Facility project members hosted a meeting of all COBY Cruise investigators at Wallops during January, in which investigators and students from NASA, Millersville University, Goucher College, and the Marine Science Consortium came together to share research results, plan future COBY Cruises, and discuss distribution of shared data. The WFF group shared main physical and optical oceanographic data at the meeting, including time series of several parameters to look at temporal change over the transect. Millersville University researchers are studying seasonal patterns of several species of zooplankton, including the cladoceran species, Podon intermedius. Bill Johnson, the researcher from Goucher College, shared data on epibenthic zooplankton samples from COBY Cruises.

Researchers from the UMBI Center for Marine Biotechnology gave a presentation titled “Cryptophyte Abundance Drive Blooms of Mixotrophic Harmful Algae: A Testable Hypothesis Based on Karlodinium veneficum as a Model System” at Wallops on January 16, 2007. The possibility of utilizing OASIS as a platform for their harmful algal bloom studies in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor is being discussed.

Please go to CoastalObs.US and provide suggestions on we can improve this site. This past month the site received 4376 hits and 665 visits.

CODAR Update

The Assateague and Cedar Island sites are currently collecting surface current data. Data is being received by the CODAR combine site at WFF hourly, archived in the CODAAC, and being transferred automatically to the Rutgers University COOLRoom for combining into preliminary data products. Currently, Rutger’s web site is hosting the preliminary images but we plan on Rutgers creating WaCOOL region- specific products once our other CODAR site comes online. We will host the WaCOOL products on our CODAAC web site at WFF and make associated data available for distribution. Additionally, we are working with Rutgers to incorporate our data in the NOAA regional CODAR archive. We have some details to clear up regarding a new FCC frequency assignment, replacing the linked transmit cable with a continuous cable, burying exposed cabling and creating an enclosure around the transmit antenna site.

The data can be accessed at :, and is updated every hour.

VAST Meeting

The Virginia Association of Science Teachers (VAST) Professional Development Institute (PDI) was held November 16-18, 2006 in Richmond, VA. The PDI supported the Science Standards of Learning (SOL) and the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act by offering 175 concurrent sessions, 15 field trips, and nationally known speakers. The myriad of topics allowed for educators at every level of science to find topics that suited their expertise and beyond. The 2006 PDI provided an avenue for communication among members of the science teaching community. The conference was attended by close to 2000 members and non-members of VAST.

The CoastalObs presentation by Brian Campbell, CoastalObs Project Education Lead focused on the interaction between the science and education of coastal science at NASA, NOAA, and academic institutions.