Environmental Data Monitoring

Environmental Data Monitoring

Metocean data processing services can involve conversion of raw to processed data, quality assurance and control measures, real-time transmission, as well as monitoring of all these aspects. The optimisation of the data processing can be device, location and data use specific, and usually involves a network of different instruments and transmission options. For use in operational real-time applications such as the DUKC®, the efficient and reliable management of all these aspects is particularly important. OMC has developed a data processing capability that is both tailored for real-time use, as well as to the benefits of the many other users of the data.

The closer to a device that OMC can obtain its raw data stream the greater the options and benefits available.

Quality Control (QC) measures of monitoring and automated test procedures rely on effective preventative Quality Assurance (QA) measures. As OMC does not provide any physical handling capability, the QA measures such as maintenance, levelling and calibration need to be managed by the port or through third parties.

The QC software that has been developed for wave, tide and current data is optimised for DUKC® purposes. Benefits for DUKC® users are increased safety, data availability and potentially draft availability depending on the device. For example, a wave buoy’s watch circle can be linked to the QC status thus providing an automated DUKC® response to increase safety. Also increased data availability through the processing of raw data to remove errors, while maintaining useful data has been achieved by minimising the effect of transmission and GPS errors in the case of Datawell DWR-G data. Erroneous data from some devices can result in overly conservative wave energy being introduced, which if sustained can result in loss of sailing draft and planning noisiness.

The processing methods employed by OMC are based on the latest international best practice. Quality Assurance of Real Time Oceanographic Devices, or QARTOD, are guidelines developed by instrument manufacturers and their largest US based users. OMC have implemented these for the QC processing of waves and tides at several ports, and will do so also for currents. For further details please refer the technical paper published in Coast and Ports 2017, ‘Quality Control Experiences using QARTOD in Australian Ports’.

OMC’s 24/7 support helpdesk objective is to keep a port’s DUKC® in operation. A common cause of downtime is an interruption in the real-time environmental data due to IT and transmission issues. In having access to the raw data stream enables a support engineer to more quickly determine if the cause of a data outage is QC or transmission related and so provide a faster diagnosis response.

Physical handling issues will need to be coordinated during business hours through contact with a ports’ coordinator.

The Metocean page of the DUKC® Series 5 system is a proven display solution providing overview with widgets and time series plots for investigation. If these displays are on the consolidated hosting system, they will be available to anybody with internet access and an account.

OMC can also maintain an archive of historical records. A user download facility can be provided through the DUKC® to enable requests for data to be managed directly by the port. This will provide CSV data files.

Port of Melbourne: Waves and Tides using OMC’s DataFilter since 2005

Torres Strait for Australian Maritime Safety Authority: Waves, Tides and Currents since 2010

Port Hedland for Pilbara Ports Authority: Nortek AWACs (waves, currents), Datawell DWRGs (waves), VegaPuls (tides) using QARTOD since 2015

Fremantle Port: Datawell DWR Mk3 (waves), Digiquartz pressure gauge (waves and tides) using QARTOD since 2017

Hay Point for North Queensland Bulk Ports: Aandeera DCS (currents) using QARTOD planned for Q3 2017


The main advantages in using OMC’s metocean data processing services are:

  • The data processing and QC is optimised for DUKC® use;
  • The data processing and QC is transparent, best practice and standards based; and
  • They enable OMC to be the single point of contact for all issues metocean and DUKC®.

Having OMC responsible for the data processing can also enable a port to mitigate its risk by having the DUKC® environmental data handling provided by an organisation able to provide certainty of long term supply and 24/7 support. Furthermore, being an end user of the data provides the highest impetus for OMC to deliver a comprehensive service and promote data integrity.