Near-real time guidance of research ships and aircraft is a fundamental underpinning activity ensuring efficient use of NERC resources. Since 1998 NEODAAS (and the predecessor RSDAS) have supported nearly 100 research cruises through the provision of timely satellite data and expert interpretation.

Atlantic Meridional Transect (AMT)

Since 1998 NEODAAS has provided near-real time cruise support to the Atlantic Meridional Transect, a multidisciplinary programme which undertakes biological, chemical and physical oceanographic research during an annual voyage between the UK and South Atlantic destinations. Specifically for AMT, NEODAAS delivers bi-weekly updates accompanied with expert interpretations of near-real time chlorophyll and sea surface temperature values, which can help support on board decisions regarding sampling effort and area. All data collected during AMT cruises is lodged with the British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC), and over the past 10 years over 1200 requests have been made for this data, offering a hugely beneficial resource to the scientific community.

“Our shore-based support during the cruise included regular updates on oceanographic conditions from the remote sensing team at NEODAAS…. Their images provided great insight and context to what we were doing on the ship, particularly as we crossed the boundaries of major water masses and when rough weather was imminent.” – Dr Glen Tarran, Principal Scientist for AMT21. Read the AMT21 Cruise Report

Ascension Island Marine Protected Area Planning

From January – March 2018 NEODAAS provided operational support to an offshore research cruise in the Ascension Island exclusive economic zone which was gathering data on the biodiversity associated with ocean fronts to support the designation of a large scale marine protected area in the region. Daily data delivery of near-real time thermal fronts and ocean colour products were analysed each evening allowing the vessel to relocate overnight to specific areas of interest that could be sampled the following day. After the cruise, a further application to NEODAAS was made to apply thermal front matrices to the telemetry data and at sea data sets.

“The service provided by NEODAAS was exceptional: high-quality data, delivered daily in a format that was responsive to the changing needs of the project. The NEODAAS team were quick to respond to questions and always available to offer guidance on the interpretation and planned uses of the data products they were providing. We are fortunate to have this service available to us as UK-based researchers and wouldn’t hesitate to collaborate again on future projects.”