USCG Supporting Real Time Forecasts in the Mid-Atlantic
MARACOOS partner, The Center for Maritime Systems (CMS) at Stevens, provides real time observations and forecasts through its New York Harbor Observing and Prediction System (NYHOPS). Data include observations and 48 hour forecasts of water levels, waves, temperatures, salinities and currents for the Hudson River, the East River, New York Harbor, Raritan Bay, Long Island Sound and the offshore waters of the New York Bight. This information is served to the public through the use of a THREDDS server, a standards-based method of sharing multiple types of data. Though the THREDDS server is a vital component of CMS participation in MARACOOS, it is currently hosted on an older computer which is near the end of its operational life.
Hardware glitches on this computer, and their increasing incidence, resulted in periods in May and early June during which model forecast data was unavailable, and foretold the probable loss of the server in the near future. One of the major users, the US Coast Guard, contacted CMS and learned that CMS lacked funds to replace the THREDDS server computer until such time as project funding became available.
Responding to this concern, and illustrating the value the USCG places on NYHOPS model forecasts, the USCG has purchased a new high-end computer based on CMS requirements for use as the CMS THREDDS server. Further, the USCG specified a 5-year warranty with Dell's "gold level" technical support, ensuring rapid response to any problems, minimizing computer-caused downtime.