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U.S. Navy researchers have developed a software planning tool incorporating weather effects and historical data to estimate tidal currents. The patented technology is available via license agreement to companies that would make, use, or sell it commercially.
Ocean models are useful for various purposes, for example, predicting tidal heights and times of expected high tides and low tides. Knowledge of the times, heights, and extent of the ebb and flow of tidal waters are of importance in a wide range of practical applications, including navigation through intra-coastal waterways, construction of bridges, docks, breakwaters, and deep water channels.
Existing tide tables are created from historical elevation data and generate tidal predictions only at these reporting stations. Tidal predictions between stations are based on general interpolation from nearest station data. These estimations do not take into account the impact of bathymetry and geometry between stations. Furthermore, tide tables contain little information for areas beyond the shoreline, cannot provide estimates of currents and do not predict the impact of atmospheric forcing due to surface pressure or winds on water levels or currents.
Navy researchers– developed this new software prediction and planning tool to accurately predict tides and vertically integrated ocean currents anywhere in the world. This globally relocatable tide and surge model provides high resolution, up-to-date forecasts of tidal elevation and currents. The model can ingest user-supplied high-resolution bathymetric data, transient weather effects such as wind and atmospheric pressure, and can predict storm surge. This new capability is particularly useful for locations where neither observations are regularly taken, nor tidal prediction models are run. PCTides is a well-developed software package in use by the U.S. Navy.
- Tide and vertically integrated current predictions for anywhere in the world’s oceans
- Model runs on PC or Linux platforms, is portable and completely automated
- In use by the U.S. Navy, and has potential civilian applications in commercial sport fishing and diving, offshore construction, and infrastructure planning
- Businesses can commercialize the technology by licensing U.S. Patent 7,283,908 from the Navy
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