| Visibility sensors implementation plan - :14437 | National Ocean Service (NOS)
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Visibility sensors implementation plan
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Visibility sensors implementation plan
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  • Description:
    "The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has used visibility sensors at major airports for many years, but the requirement within the maritime industry came in 1980, when the MV Summit Venture hit the Sunshine Skyway Bridge over Florida's Tampa Bay. The disaster, in part due to lack of adequate visibility, was the impetus for the present day Physical Oceanographic Real-time System (PORTSĀ®) system, and prompted much interest in and research on visibility sensors. The addition of visibility sensors to the PORTSĀ® suite of instruments offers users another valuable tool to increase efficiency and to help avoid disasters that could cause loss of life and extensive property damage. The Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services (CO-OPS) became involved in testing visibility sensors in 1999, after signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the National Weather Service (NWS) to test Belfort Model 6100 visibility sensors at the Sterling Research and Development Center in Sterling, VA. Several other visibility sensors were tested from 1999 through 2003. Since 1999, the Ocean Systems Test and Evaluation Program (OSTEP), has evaluated eight different sensors at five separate locations. These eight sensors represent four different kinds of technologies, and the evaluations have been conducted in cooperation with five Federal agencies. None of the sensors tested seemed to meet all 15 standards set forth by the NWS in the Federal Meteorological Handbook (FMH) #1; however, an FAA requirement for a new visibility sensor provided an excellent interagency opportunity to partner in the test and evaluation of the latest technology"--Executive Summary.

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