S-100 sea trials: working toward harmonized navigation products

International team participating in the S-100 sea trial.

By Julia Powell, deputy division chief of the Coast Survey Development Lab

On August 27, an international contingent from the United States (NOAA), the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office, and the Canadian Hydrographic Service participated in the S-100 sea trial in Busan, Republic of Korea.

S-100 is the International Hydrographic Organization’s (IHO) Universal Hydrographic Data Model’s framework standard from which a variety of product specifications can be developed for use within navigation systems and marine spatial data infrastructure.  For many years, NOAA and the Ministry of Fisheries of the Republic of Korea have had a Joint Project Agreement and one of the projects is to develop and promote and S-100 test bed.  This test bed is designed to help further the development of S-100 infrastructure used to develop S-100 related products and further the testing of S-100 interoperability within navigation systems.

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NOAA hosts 2019 Nautical Cartography Open House and Chart Adequacy Workshop

Sean Legeer shows a digital cartography display to visiting students.

Last week, NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey held its third annual Nautical Cartography Open House welcoming over 250 attendees from the U.S. and abroad. Government agencies, industry and academic partners, and members of the public attended. The open house featured posters, presentations, tours, and exhibits centered around four themes: Bathymetric Databases, Custom Charting, Innovative Cartography, and Precision Navigation. Dr. Shachak Pe’eri, organizer of the event and chief of the Cartographic Support Branch in the Marine Chart Division, welcomed attendees in the morning and John Nyberg, chief of the Marine Chart Division, gave the keynote speech.

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Change of command for NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson

Capt. Chris van Westendorp and Cmdr. Briana Welton Hillstrom salute with Capt. Zezula looking on.

On April 12, 2019, the crew of NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson hosted a change of command in Brooklyn, NY. Cmdr. Briana Welton Hillstrom accepted command of Thomas Jefferson, relieving Capt. Christiaan van Westendorp in a ceremony led by Capt. David Zezula, commanding officer of NOAA’s Office of Marine and Aviation Operations (OMAO) Marine Operations Center-Atlantic.

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Everyday actions keep mariners safe aboard NOAA hydrographic survey vessels

A NOAA Corp officer watches for hazards to navigation on board NOAA Ship Fairweather.

Collecting bathymetric data for our nation’s nautical charts requires skilled work on the water. Whether survey data is actively being collected or the ship is transiting to its next destination, NOAA crews perform a number of ancillary tasks as they operate NOAA hydrographic ships 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Atmospheric and ecological observations provide context for the crew so they can avoid dangerous situations, while also supporting NOAA environmental databases and records. Drills and training are necessary to keep people and property safe. The following are some of the actions the mariners take while they are aboard the vessel.

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From seaports to the deep blue sea, bathymetry matters on many scales

By Rear Adm. Shep Smith, director of the Office of Coast Survey

On Thursday, June 21, we celebrate World Hydrography Day. This year’s theme—Bathymetry – the foundation for sustainable seas, oceans and waterways—is very timely as many hydrographic organizations worldwide are focusing on bathymetry at local and global scales. While we work to perfect real-time data and high-resolution bathymetry for ports, we are still working to build a foundational baseline dataset of the global seafloor. Our work at both scales have implications for the local and global economies.

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Rear Adm. Shepard M. Smith elected to chair the International Hydrographic Organization Council

RDML Smith (fifth from left) with the Arctic Regional Hydrographic Commission (October 2016, Iqaluit, Canada).

Rear Adm. Shepard M. Smith, director of NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey and the U.S. national representative to the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO), was elected as the chair of the newly established IHO Council.

The council was established in November 2016 as a result of the adoption of amendments to the Convention on the International Hydrographic Organization. It is composed of 30 leading hydrographic nations from the membership of the IHO, and functions much like a corporate board of directors, overseeing performance management and the business side of the IHO. Continue reading “Rear Adm. Shepard M. Smith elected to chair the International Hydrographic Organization Council”

NOAA Coast Survey 2017 leadership team

NOAA Office of Coast Survey has some new faces on its leadership team this year.

Director, Coast Survey: Rear Admiral Shepard M. Smith

ShepardSmith-hsRear Admiral Shepard M. Smith was named director of the NOAA Office of Coast Survey in August 2016. As director, Smith oversees NOAA’s charts and hydrographic surveys, ushering in the next generation of navigational products and services for mariners who need integrated delivery of coastal data. Smith has served with NOAA for 23 years, during which time he has been deeply involved in advancing the state-of-the-art in hydrography and nautical cartography. He most recently served as the commanding officer of NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson and previously served as the chief of Coast Survey’s Marine Chart Division, managing the privatization of paper chart printing and distribution. He also served on the interagency response teams for the search and recovery of TWA flight 800, EgyptAir flight 990, and the private plane piloted by John F. Kennedy, Jr. He also commanded the Thomas Jefferson during her six-week response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Rear Adm. Smith attended Deep Springs College and Cornell University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering and earned a Master of Science in ocean engineering from the University of New Hampshire. Continue reading “NOAA Coast Survey 2017 leadership team”