Monitoring waves in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch
The Ocean Cleanup Foundation is developing floating barrier systems to concentrate and extract buoyant plastic from the global accumulation zones. To analyze and improve the efficiency of such cleanup systems, access to accurate Metocean conditions is inevitable.
An experimental campaign was carried out during the deployment of the first two systems in the Pacific to A) validate the performance of both a GFS and CFSR forced wave model, 1000+nm from available NOAA buoys and B) intercompare the wave measurements from an unmanned surface vessel (USV) with those from Obscape wave buoys and a vessel based X-Band radar.
Presented is their preliminary comparison of integral wave parameters for the entire campaign (2272hrs/data points) and discuss further steps towards a more complete investigation.
Their preliminary comparison suggests that the USV and Obscape wave buoy data compare rather well. The largest differences are seen in wave periods. Observed were small differences between the GFS and CFSR forced model, both compare well with the field measurements.