You are here

Low Cost Oceanic and Atmospheric Sensors and Observing Systems


Environmental observations of the Earth’s atmosphere and oceans and the air-land-sea-ice-snow interface underpin virtually all of NOAA’s science, service, and stewardship activities. From routine monitoring and sampling of critical environmental parameters, to an enhanced understanding of associated biological, physical, and chemical processes, to initialization of forecast and prediction models, there is an ongoing need for cost-effective, high-reliability, readily-deployable, platform-independent sensors and observing systems. This subtopic seeks to expand observational capabilities relevant to marine ecosystems, ocean processes, atmospheric observations, and interfacial processes, among others. Successful candidates will offer not only new ideas for sensors and systems but procedures for effective data management, including formatting, quality control, display, accessibility, and transferability of data. Of specific interest are:

      • low-cost sensors for atmosphere and ocean measurements (including air-land and air-sea fluxes);
      • an easily deployable sensor package with practical and ready-to-use sensors for marine biological observations that go beyond fluorescence to address critical needs for biodiversity, organism abundance, and productivity measurements;
      • robust biological, chemical and physical sensors, including omics, for exploration and characterization of the deep ocean; and
      • real-time, QARTOD-capable quality control firmware and software within meteorological and oceanographic instruments (QARTOD: Quality Assurance / Quality Control of Real-Time Oceanographic Data)*.

This subtopic also seeks to identify pathways for harnessing the potential of the full enterprise to establish the best possible analysis of the atmosphere-land-ocean system to meet growing user demands.



*Bushnell, M., 2017, “Integration of QARTOD Tests Within a Sensor: Considerations for Sensor Manufacturers”. IEEE MTS OCEANS’17, Anchorage, AK; also Marine Technology Society Journal, 52(2): 13-17 (2018).

US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government