Product/Service Description Document
Part I - Mission Connection
1. Product Description
Various academic, meteorological, and oceanographic institutions and contributing
partners of the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) have implemented High
Frequency Radar (HF Radar) sites in their local coastal regions around the continental
United States. These radar sites provide coastal-ocean surface current and wave
information offshore out to 300 km. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration (NOAA) has undertaken a project in association with the Scripps
Institution of Oceanography (SIO) and the National Data Buoy Center (NDBC) to
combine the data measured from these IOOS partner radar sites onto a national grid and
display the surface currents graphically in the form of vectors on the NDBC website.
Note: This is a demonstration of the HF Radar display capability currently available. The
HF Radar vector data has not been quality controlled.
The user can access the NOAA HF Radar site at the NDBC website and select a region of
interest. Once selected, the site will graphically display the surface current vectors (speed
and direction) within the user selected region. This region may be magnified or reduced.
The site will also provide a user-option of displaying the data from marine weather
stations (buoys and fixed) that are ingested by the NDBC. The data may be viewed from
current time back to 24 hours. Data older than 24 hours will be accessible in the future
(initial website will only provide most recent 24 hours of data).
Real-time surface current information is a valuable supplement to understanding coastal
air-sea interaction. Coastal surface current information may be correlated to winds and
tidal currents among other physical phenomena.
The audience for this product is anticipated to be widely varied. Anyone from researchers
to recreational beach goers may utilize this information. It is conceivable that outside
entities may use HF Radar data for search and rescue activities or possibly to track
movement of hazardous material (oil) spills. Mariners may use this information in their
evaluation of their sea-going operations. The general public may use this information for
off-shore recreational activities.
4. Presentation Format
The surface currents are displayed graphically using Java scripting. This allows the user
to interactively define the region of interest. Since the surface current vectors are not
memory intensive, only north-south and east-west velocity magnitudes with latitude and
longitude are required, data will be accessible for down-loading in ASCII format.
5. Feedback Method
We are always seeking to improve our services based on user feedback. Comments
regarding the NOAA HF Radar observations should be sent to the feedback email address
on the webpage.
Inquires into NOAA HF Radar may also be made to:
National Data Buoy Center
John C. Stennis Space Center, MS 39529
Attn: Dr. Richard Crout
228 688 1021
Experimental Feedback Period: 01 November 2006 through 01 May 2007.
Part II - Technical Description
1. Format and Science Basis
The final configuration of the NOAA HF Radar Web site established in Phase III, will be
by direct query of the data portal servers from the NOAA HF Radar server at the NDBC
(Figure 1). At the end of this phase (~ March 2007), the NDBC shall be an autonom ous
data node, capable of handling data storage,..data comm unications and web display of
QA/QC HF radar data for the available and p articipating I OOS partn er HF rada r site s
within the 48 contiguous US states. Rutgers University will have the same capabilities as
the NDBC serving as a backup data node together with the SIO to provide fail safe access
to real-time HF radar da ta. Each region in the nationa l network will s tore information
from IOOS partner HF Radar sites for future access and online distribution as needed and
determined by the individual institution. SIO will provide a server to the NDBC capable
of storing the initially availa ble data for the E ast coast region. The East coast region
defined for the East coast Re..ional HF Radar grid stretc hes from Maine all the way
around Florida to Texas. Figure 2 illustrates the network ar chitecture at the data node
Figure 1: Phase III: Independent redundant NDBC Network for Real Time Vector
Distribution. Proposed completion of this phase is February 28, 2007.
Figure 2: Diagram showing generalized Network Architecture at and below the
Necessary Software and Hardware sc..ns to be included in development by the NDBC to
install the SIO hardware/software setup behind the NASA and the NDBC firewalls, are
the NESSUS Vulnerability Scan and the Harris Stat Scan. Both software scans need to be
run by the NDBC eithe r before installation or during installation on site at Stennis Space
Center, the latter will take more time for the installation process.
Figure 3: Current NDBC Logical Network
Figure 3 depicts the generaeldi setup of the existing network structure at NDBC's
Stennis Space Center site. The figure shows the DMZ (unsecured De-Militarized Zone)
behind the primary and Backup Firewalls within NDBC's own network. The Internet
will be accessed through the NASA Firewall, requiring another set of security protocols
to be followed.
Data Display on World Wide Web
The web site will deliver content via a Java applet. T his applet is currently being
developed on Java runtim e version 1.5.0_04 but it is target ed to run on any version
supporting Swing, such as 1.4.2_03 or later. The content will include m aps and other
imagery, vector fields for NOAA HF radar data, and marine weather station data. Menus
will allow for navigating to various views, choosing the content to be displayed, set user
preferences, and access online help . Other controls allow the us er to zoom and pan,
move back and forth in time, animate in time, and download data. The main panel of the
display will also feature rollover inform ation, continuous Lat/Lon readout, popup m enus,
and hyperlinks to m arine weather station info rmation. The applet relies on databases on
one or m ore servers for m ap data, HF data, and marine weather st ation data. Currently
these databases are running MySql, but any SQL-92 compatib le database can be used.
Data is pulled from the databases via HTTP requests and SQL queries. As necessary the
applet will cache data and there may be addi tional cach ing at the server, such as for
Figure 4: US Map with (at this
point) predefined sites of
planned or operating IOOS HF
Figure 5: Single HF Radar Site Total Vector
Figure 6: Representation of Surface Currents integrated into NDBC's current Web
2. Product Availability
The site will be available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Surface current vector data
will be updated hourly.