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Press Release: NOAA’s NDBC, Sofar Ocean to share methodologies to advance marine monitoring and research capabilities

Sofar Ocean

The National Data Buoy Center (NDBC) and Sofar Ocean have signed an agreement to explore potential benefits of co-use of technologies and methodologies by exchanging technical knowledge.

The three-year Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) between NOAA and Sofar Ocean is a collaborative effort that will lead to advances in marine observations and environmental monitoring. 

Representatives from Sofar Ocean, NOAA's NDBC, and other key stakeholders at NDBC headquarters at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.

“As the premier buoy observation group for NOAA’s National Weather Service, NDBC has a responsibility to continuously improve. Having accurate and reliable in-situ data is necessary for tropical storm modeling, emergency planners, researchers, maritime commerce and public marine recreational use. The opportunity to work with Sofar Ocean and their team of experts is exciting and has significant potential to benefit observations and the understanding of our environment,” said Randy Stewart, Engineer and NDBC-Sofar Ocean CRADA Principal Investigator.

This exchange of technical expertise and ideas will be mutually beneficial.

"Collaboration is key to rapidly increasing our understanding of the global ocean," said Tim Janssen, CEO and Co-Founder of Sofar Ocean. "Our partnership with the National Data Buoy Center brings together two leading ocean technology organizations, each of which operates a global network of marine weather sensors. By exchanging technical expertise, Sofar Ocean and NDBC will be better equipped to collect in-situ ocean data at scale and generate insights for science, society, and industry."

A 3-meter (~10ft) NDBC buoy (left, photo courtesy of NDBC) and a basketball-sized Sofar Ocean Spotter buoy (right).

Under the CRADA, Sofar Ocean and NDBC will:

  • Collaborate in technical knowledge, learning from both NDBC and Sofar Ocean buoys’ unique capabilities.
  • Discover how NDBC and Sofar Ocean’s marine sensing platforms can complement each other.
  • Share techniques for processing and assuring data collected in areas such as wave measurement, gap analysis, communications, adaptability, and weather event monitoring.
  • Explore how Bristlemouth, an open-ocean connectivity standard developed by Sofar Ocean and its strategic partners, can be used to integrate new sensors with NDBC's buoys.
  • Cooperate in the development of improvements and advancements in marine monitoring and research capabilities.

NOAA regularly partners with private sector companies through CRADAs to conduct research and development work that is mutually beneficial and helps to accomplish NOAA’s mission.
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Note: Any reference obtained from this website to a specific company, product, process, or service does not constitute or imply an endorsement by NOAA.
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