Research & Innovation

Current Meter Data from Stevens Institute of Technology to Help NOAA Monitor Safe Ship Navigation Routes in New York Harbor

Hoboken, N.J. – Stevens Institute of Technology has become a strategic partner with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in monitoring critical waterway activity in the New York Harbor. A new current meter, operated by Stevens, will provide enhanced real-time information to mariners traveling halfway between the Verrazano Narrows Bridge and Manhattan, the primary navigation route into New York and New Jersey ports.

 “With this current measuring device we can detect the direction, and speed of the ocean currents in the harbor’s navigation channels, north of the Narrows between Brooklyn and Staten Island,” said Alan Blumberg, director of the Davidson Laboratory of the Center for Maritime Systems at Stevens. Thomas Herrington, a Stevens research professor, designed the current monitoring system and worked diligently with his NOAA counterparts to make it operational. "His significant role will keep one of the nation’s busiest ports safe" said Blumberg.

The sensor’s data will be used in NOAA’s Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System (PORTS®) system, which delivers real-time environmental observations, forecasts and other geospatial information to mariners in 21 major U.S. harbors. The system makes maritime commerce more safe and efficient by giving ship captains instant measurements of the water levels and temperatures, and the direction and speed of the current and wind as they come in and out of port.

Stevens is a partner in the NOAA-led U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS®), and is the first academic partner to have its research data incorporated into the NOAA real-time PORTS program.

“This is a great addition to PORTS,” said Richard Edwing, director of NOAA’s Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services. “This collaboration between Stevens and NOAA gives us access to previously untapped data to help us address marine commerce and other coastal issues.  It also lays the groundwork for future federal-regional collaborations.”

NOAA’s PORTS program helps reduce the chances for accidents. Also, enhanced marine information can increase the amount of cargo moved through a port and harbor by enabling mariners to safely use every inch of dredged channel depth.

“This data provides a larger picture of the interaction between the ocean and global climate systems and advances our understanding of potential climate change impacts on our marine ecosystems and coastal communities,” said Zdenka Willis, U.S. IOOS program director.

About Stevens Institute of Technology

Stevens Institute of Technology, The Innovation University®, is a premier, private research university situated in Hoboken, N.J. overlooking the Manhattan skyline. Founded in 1870, technological innovation has been the hallmark and legacy of Stevens’ education and research programs for more than 140 years. Within the university’s three schools and one college, more than 6,100 undergraduate and graduate students collaborate with more than 350 faculty members in an interdisciplinary, student-centric, entrepreneurial environment to advance the frontiers of science and leverage technology to confront global challenges. Stevens is home to three national research centers of excellence, as well as joint research programs focused on critical industries such as healthcare, energy, finance, defense and STEM education. The university is the fastest-rising college in the U.S. News & World Report ranking of the best national universities, and it is consistently ranked among the nation’s elite for return on investment for students, career services programs, and mid-career salaries of alumni. Stevens is in the midst of a 10-year strategic plan, The Future. Ours to Create., designed to further extend the Stevens legacy to create a forward-looking and far-reaching institution with global impact.