Developing an Integrated Marine Environment Observation and Prediction System in Support of NC Energy Initiatives


    Led by NC State Professor Roy He, the goal of this project is to develop a collaborative partnership between NC State and Avangrid Renewables, Shell, Raytheon, Fathom Science, the State of North Carolina, and the federal Department of Energy to refine and implement state-of-the-art marine environment observing and prediction capabilities that can support wind, current, and wave energy development, and risk mitigation offshore of NC. Dr. He and his team have been working to integrate newly developed state-of-the-art, data-assimilative, coupled ocean-atmosphere-wave modeling systems with a carefully designed observing network and emerging powerful cloud-computing technology to generate accurate, real-time marine environmental predictions.

    The system, once fully developed, will be capable of addressing multi-disciplinary coastal and marine problems, as well as enhancing understanding of the complex physics that arise from a confluence of very different water masses off NC and their interactions with the atmosphere. Dr. He’s team is conducting extensive coastal observations from ongoing NSF PEACH and NC Renewable Ocean Energy programs by utilizing state-of-the-art data assimilation and adaptive sampling methodology and enabling efficient scaling-up of routine integration using emerging powerful cloud-computing technology.

    For FY 2021-22, Dr. He reported 8 publications, 4 graduate students, 5 post docs, 14 universities, 10 corporate partners engaged in this project, and one startup company – Fathom Science. Fathom Science has a contract to create an operational metocean (weather + ocean) model for the government of Indonesia and a contract with Sandia National Labs on marine hydrokinetic and wave energy for Powering the Blue Economy. Fathom also has an ongoing contract for product development with NASA, and is working on a hurricane forecasting contract with the National Ocean Partnership Program. On December 8-9, 2021, Fathom was invited to participate in the NASA iTech 2021 Cycle II Forum in the category “Technologies using NASA data to foster climate resilience.” KIETS support for this project leverages resources from NSF, NASA, NOAA, Office of Naval Research, US Geological Survey and the NC Renewable Ocean Energy Program