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Calibration of extreme wave measurement on the ocean surface (WAVEMEASUREMENT)
Start date: Sep 1, 2014, End date: Feb 29, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Our idea is to revisit the recording of time-series of sea surface elevations in extreme conditions. A better understanding of extreme waves is vital in harbour and coastal monitoring, coastal engineering, offshore design and operations, maritime traffic control, meteorological and climatological studies, wave and wind energy studies. Within the framework of the ERC Advanced Grant MULTIWAVE, which started in April 2012, we brought new physical and mathematical insights into the dynamic shaping mechanisms and statistics of rogue waves, both in optics and in hydrodynamics. While in optics the measurement of such extreme events is accurate, the measurement of extreme waves in the ocean is quite delicate. Moreover experiments can be repeated in optics while in the ocean one has to wait for extreme waves. There are several techniques to measure waves in the ocean: the traditional in-situ techniques as well as remote sensing or optical techniques. They all have advantages and drawbacks and none of them has ever been calibrated against extreme ocean waves. We believe that the in-situ technique once improved remains the best technique for now. Together with the industrial subcontractor, we will optimize wave buoy sensor technology for extreme waves. Based on the fundamental know-how from MULTIWAVE, we are in a position to allow settings to be optimized in the initial design phase prior to ocean deployment and then to test the performance of the optimized device. We will select areas off the west coast of Ireland and times of the year when the probability of recording extreme waves and rogue waves in particular is the highest. If the recorded time-series are robust and accurate, the new wave buoy will be the first wave buoy that can be trusted for recording extreme waves. A market search of existing wave measuring devices currently available will be performed. We believe that the potential market is huge.

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