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NOAA image of water level measurement system.June 23, 2003 ó The NOAA Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services (CO-OPS) is now using artificial intelligence to extend and improve its existing real-time quality control monitoring system. This system, called CORMS (Continuous Operational Real-time Monitoring System) operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week ensuring the availability and accuracy of the real-time water levels, currents and meteorological data provided by CO-OPS for navigational safety. CO-OPS is part of the NOAA Ocean Service.

“The NOAA Ocean Service is able to expand the number of real-time systems in support of navigational safety and coastal observation systems through the use of artificial intelligence,” said Mike Szabados, director of CO-OPS. “Using artificial intelligence as a decision making tool means CORMS can double or triple the number of real time systems while at the same time improving accuracy of the data monitoring process.”

The benefits of using artificial intelligence are four-fold: 1) the ability to monitor more sites; 2) provide more information to CORMS managers to assist them in decision-making; 3) ensure consistency in monitoring performance; and 4) significantly reduce reaction time to any instrument failures.

Artificial intelligence is a state-of-the-art science that uses computers to take actions that are based on predefined facts or set of facts known as “rules” that are described in one or more scenarios known as “cases.” Using a variety of customized software programs, the artificial intelligence system captures and interprets this information to tell the system how to respond to specific quality issues such as communication or instrument failures.

The application of artificial intelligence has transformed the traditional quality control monitoring system into one that provides more complete information to CORMS personnel. Artificial intelligence decision making logic was needed to address the ever increasing amount of data and information gathered from ten real-time Physical Oceanographic Real Time Systems® (PORTS®) installed around the United States and from real-time regional systems such as the Great Lakes Online system.

PORTS® is a decision support tool which improves the safety and efficiency of maritime commerce, assists coastal resource management, and aids recreational boaters. PORTS® information can be obtained via telephone or Internet.

The NOAA CO-OPS collects, analyzes and distributes historical and real-time observations and predictions of water levels, coastal currents and other meteorological and oceanographic data. The center manages the National Water Level Program, the national network of PORTS® in major U.S. harbors and the National Current Program.

The NOAA Ocean Service, which includes CO-OPS, is dedicated to exploring, understanding, conserving and restoring the nation’s coasts and oceans. It balances environmental protection with economic prosperity in fulfilling its mission of promoting safe navigation, supporting coastal communities, sustaining coastal habitats and mitigating coastal hazards.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of the nationís coastal and marine resources. NOAA is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Relevant Web Sites

NOAA Ocean Service



Media Contact:
Ben Sherman, NOAA Ocean Service, (301) 713-3066 ext. 178