Prototype Buoy with Mini Met-Station

PhOD Instrumentation Group built a prototype buoy equipped with a mini weather station as part of the NASA Ocean Salinity Science Team project with an in-kind contribution from NOAA-AOML (PIs D. Volkov and S. Dong). An identical mini weather station was mounted on the RSMAS pier for calibration purposes. The objective of the experiment is to evaluate the quality of wind speed/direction, precipitation, air temperature/humidity measurements by comparing them to concurrent measurements by the mini weather station on the pier and by the permanent RSMAS weather station. This experiment may potentially lead to the design of surface drifters equipped with dual surface (20 cm) and subsurface (tethered) temperature and salinity sensors and a similar mini weather station on a mast. Such drifters may make it possible to directly observe how the near-surface temperature and salinity structure is affected by atmospheric forcing (temperature, wind, precipitation) in a Lagrangian frame of reference.