•   NOAA's nowCOAST® provides access to National Weather Service's new storm surge watches and warnings  
     •   NOAA clarifies National Charting Plan vision for production of NOAA paper charts and RNCs  
     •   NOAA's nowCOAST® provides access to global weather satellite imagery  
     •   NOAA invites public comment on the draft National Charting Plan  
     •   NOAA's nowCOAST® provides access to National Hurricane Center's potential storm surge flooding map  
     •   Shepard Smith named as next director of Coast Survey  
     •   Satellite images are source for first-of-its-kind charts of Alaska's Yukon River  
     •   Coast Survey develops new model to assess hurricane storm surge  
     •   Coast Survey to remove “state plane tick marks” from charts  
     •   NOAA Coast Survey gives commercial navigation systems better tool to receive updated nautical charts  
     •   Haitians gain NOAA experience, assist with Delaware River chart update survey  
     •   Improved nowCOAST provides 60 data products and services  
     •   NOAA joins international ENC validation process  
     •   NOAA invites public comment on the draft 2015 U.S. Arctic Nautical Charting Plan  
     •   World Hydrography Day 2015  
     •   NOAA deploys survey ships for Arctic charting projects  
     •   NOAA releases six new chart overlays of Gulf of Mexico oil and gas lease blocks  
     •   NOAA survey ship provides new USS Monitor imagery  
     •   Small craft nautical charts adjust to boaters’ needs  
     •   NOAA kicks off 2015 survey season in Gulf of Maine  
     •   Coast Survey Product Development Benefits from Survey of Chart Users  
     •   NOAA Announces Award of New Hydrographic Surveying Services Contracts  
  Recent Archive  
    Older News Archive  

NOAA survey ship provides new USS Monitor imagery

Data acquired during calibration testing in preparation for the 2015 survey season

Image of the USS Monitor, acquired by NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson using multibeam echo sounder on April 30, 2015.
Image of the USS Monitor, acquired by NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson using multibeam echo sounder on April 30, 2015.

NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson, in transit to her survey project area off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina, used its preparation schedule this week to assist with the management of the historic Civil War shipwreck, the USS Monitor.

Thomas Jefferson was conducting sea trials and sonar system calibrations, and they needed a deep site to perform a multibeam echo sounderpatch test.” They hit on the idea of using the Monitor site as an opportunity to share full multibeam bathymetry and side scan sonar imagery while, at the same time, calibrating the ship’s survey systems. The Monitor National Marine Sanctuary protects and preserves the remains of what has been called the most significant ship in American history, so clearance was essential prior to any survey operations.

This is the 40th anniversary year of the establishment of the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary.

“There was no guarantee of a successful test, given the time constraints and weather window,” explained LT Joe Carrier, the ship’s operations officer. “We needed to quickly access the Monitor’s location and depth data, ensure a clear path for our side scan sonar, and guarantee no interference with the site.”

It has been several years since the wreck was last surveyed, and so the sanctuary immediately accepted the offer, noting “the combined side scan and multibeam data will be extremely valuable to our management of the site.” Sanctuary staff assured Carrier that there were no obstructions that would prohibit a survey or endanger the equipment or the Monitor’s site.

NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson
NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson

“The data acquired by NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson helps us manage this important site,” said David Alberg, superintendent of the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary, noting that the “long-standing relationship with NOAA’s Office of Marine and Aviation Operation’s fleet of ships provides valuable technological resources for the nation’s sanctuaries.”

“As we preserve the Monitor’s and Battle of Atlantic’s story, Thomas Jefferson’s imagery will help us share important historical data with the public,” Alberg said.

After finishing calibrations over the Monitor, Thomas Jefferson checked out several nearby wrecks as part of the ship’s sea trials. They arrive at their first 2015 hydrographic survey project area off the Carolina coast on Saturday, May 2. Captain Shep Smith, the ship’s commander, is planning for seven weeks of operations, with port calls in Wilmington, NC, and Charleston, SC. With the ship and her smaller boats running hydrographic operations for up to ten hours a day, the scientists and technicians will collect new depth measurements over approximately 120 square nautical miles.

NOAA's Office of Coast Survey, the nation's nautical chart maker, will use the Thomas Jefferson data to update chart 11528 and electronic navigational chart (NOAA ENC®) US5SC25.

May 1, 2015

User Survey  | Privacy Policy  |  Disclaimer  |  NOAA's National Ocean Service  |  NOAA  |  U.S. Department of Commerce 
Web site owner: NOAA Office of Coast Survey