|NDBC uses three types of buoys for data collection. The largest and oldest are the 12- and 10-m discus shaped buoys. These are primarily operated in deep-water areas where high waves are possible and where measurements dictate a large, stable buoy. Presently, these buoys are moored in water depths up to 3,300 m. Because of the expense in building these buoys, they are no longer made. They were originally designed to accommodate large diesel generators to power the instruments. These are no longer needed since NDBC now uses solar panels with battery backups for power.|
The next largest buoy is the 6-m Naval Oceanographic and Meteorological Automated Device
(NOMAD). These have replaced the 12-m discus-shaped buoys. This buoy hull is boat shaped
and has very good stability in rough waters. They are primarily moored in deep water at higher
latitudes where directional wave measurements are not required. These buoys align themselves
with wind direction, and because of their shape, directional wave measurements cannot be made.
|A third type of buoy is the 3-m discus. These buoys were designed to operate in the near shore and continental shelf regions. However, they are presently located in water depths from 14 to 2,500 m. They are small, lower cost, and perfect for coastal and estuarine monitoring. Along with the standard weather data, both wave direction and wave height are measured using these buoys. They are affectionately known as the "workhorse" at NDBC.|
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HOME | The Bookshelf
Publication of the NOAA Education Team.
July 21, 1999