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Environmental Monitoring


June 2015 Issue

Atlantic Coast Gets AWIPS II For Weather Forecasting
When severe weather strikes, forecasters at NOAA’s National Weather Service (NWS) need advanced tools they can rely on to make the decisions that protect property and safeguard lives. Raytheon Co.’s (Waltham, Massachusetts) Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System II (AWIPS II), a forecasting analysis and display toolkit, was recently installed at all coastal Atlantic NWS weather forecasting offices (WFOs), placing advanced visualization and data analysis capabilities at forecasters’ fingertips.

Developed by Raytheon for NWS, AWIPS II was installed at 22 tropical offices ahead of hurricane season.

AWIPS II is being installed at all 122 WFOs across the U.S., including the 13 river forecast centers and nine national centers. The National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida, will use AWIPS II to issue graphical forecasts during the 2015 Hurricane Season, which begins on June 1 and runs through October.

MACH Data Set Launched, Sold to Oil and Gas Majors
BMT ARGOSS (Marknesse, Netherlands), the Met Office and Oceanweather Inc. (Cos Cob, Connecticut) launched their joint Mid-Atlantic Current Hindcast (MACH) data set, resulting in two successful data sales to Shell International Petroleum Co. Ltd. (London, England) and Total S.A. (Paris, France).

The MACH team has worked closely with oil and gas operators to provide a robust current data set over the West Africa region. Unlike other current data sets available, the MACH data set provides information on the long-term variability of currents over a 20-year period and has been validated against measured data throughout the region. The initial focus has been to provide a 20-year, fine-resolution data set for the West Africa oil and gas concession region.

The MACH data set will be used to better understand the ocean conditions within a potential development site or to gain advanced knowledge of the conditions prior to exploration drilling. Vertical profiles of current speed and direction are critical inputs to riser engineering and deepwater developments offshore, while near-surface current spatial information may provide valuable input to oil spill contingency planning and support FPSO and vessel operations. With the reduction of costs being a prime driver in today’s environment, this data set will provide regional information that will help refine the design and increase the efficiency of the installation and operation of oil and gas producers’ assets offshore, according to the MACH team.

With this phase of the modeling complete, the team is now looking to expand the fine-resolution modeling to other parts of the Mid-Atlantic basin, including Brazil.

Alfa Laval Receives Patent for Exhaust Gas Cleaning System
Alfa Laval (Lund, Sweden) now has a patent for its exhaust gas cleaning system, PureSOx, which cleans scrubber water using high-speed centrifugal separator technology. The cleaning system can help vessels meet requirements in Emission Control Areas (ECAs).

The centrifugal separator removes the soot from the circulation water in closed-loop mode. The unit is completely unaffected by pitch and roll.

The patented technology will help to secure emission limit compliance in either hybrid or closed-loop mode, particularly in Belgium and Germany where ports don’t allow open-loop scrubbers.

ACO Maripur NF Meets New IMO Resolution Requirements
ACO Marine (Prague, Czech Republic) has received Bureau Veritas (BV) type approval for its new ACO Maripur NF sewage treatment system.

The BV tests confirm that ACO Marine’s next-generation treatment plant meets the stringent performance requirements of IMO Resolution MEPC 227(64), which enters into force in January 2016.

The revision requires vessels with more than 12 passengers operating in IMO-designated “special areas” to reduce the phosphorous and nitrogen content of treated effluent.

Type-approval testing has verified that the ACO Maripur NF can reduce coliform bacteria to 17.5 count per 100 milliliters (standard is 100 count per 100 milliliters); TSS to 2.4 milligrams per liter (standard is 35 milligrams per liter); BOD to 7.3 milligrams per liter (standard is 25 milligrams per liter); and COD to 60 milligrams per liter (standard is 125 milligrams per liter). In addition, ACO Maripur NF can reduce nitrogen and phosphorous content significantly below the mandated levels of 20 milligrams per liter and 1milligram per liter to 7.2 milligrams per liter and 0.3 milligrams per liter, respectively.

Tsunami Warning System For Philippines
The Philippines has set up a tsunami early warning system, and the project is being progressively rolled out from the densely populated coastal towns and cities to the rest of the region.

Areas on the west coast of the islands, which face the Manila Trench located between The Philippines and Vietnam, are at particular risk.

The system includes detectors, a GSM data communication system, data visualization, interpretation, local tsunami emergency decision tools, and widely distributed local tsunami warning stations, which are the final public-facing element of the system.

The solar-powered local tsunami warning station relies on E2S Warning Signals’ (London, England) A121AX Appello 126 dB(A) output user-recordable alarm horns, which have a 1,000-foot effective range, to generate the audible alarms to alert the population to an impending emergency. Three units per station, spaced at 120° intervals, ensure all-round audibility, and the units generate warning alert tones followed by recorded messages to ensure that the warning is unambiguous. In the event of an emergency, people living in the affected coastal areas are given sufficient time to flee their homes and follow designated evacuation paths leading to higher grounds.

The A121AX can store, in nonvolatile permanent memory, up to two minutes of user messages, with independent volume controls for the 45 embedded alarm tones and the recorded messages. It operates from 24 VDC and is sealed to NEMA 4/4X/3R/13 and IP66 standards.


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