Measurement and Consulting in Physical Oceanography

22 Feb 2008

RPS' Jolimont office in Perth, Western Australia (RPS MetOcean) employs a staff of more than fifty specialists in oceanographic and environmental engineering, and mathematical modelling.

The office employs a complex range of sophisticated technology including oceanographic and meteorological instrumentation, analysis software and modelling tools to collect, analyse and model data for offshore oil and gas facilities, pipelines and ports and harbour, through meteorological and oceanographic measurement programs, desktop studies and modelling.

For more than thirty years, the Bishop Street office has designed and implemented meteorological and oceanographic measurement programmes for waters ranging from coastal tropical waters to deep Antarctic Ocean environments. The office’s results provide input to global engineering companies through design criteria analysis and modelled scenarios for the design, construction and operation of marine engineering projects and facilities.

In addition to the physical data collection and analysis tools, consultants use sophisticated custom-built in house 3-d, data-analysis and numerical modelling technology to map and model wind, wave, current and storm surges, and tsunamis ensuring realistic applications to even the most severe conditions - such as tropical cyclones.  Modelling and measurement programmes have been devised and established for a variety of industry activities including ports and harbours, offshore installations, ocean tows, frontier drilling, subsea installations and production facilities.

While the primary source of data for any design criteria analysis is the data collected during the measurement programs, models acting as a supplement to the programs or used where a full measurement program isn’t warranted help to provide a view of the environment at the site and the effects of any changes to the site (i.e. dredging, groynes, harbour expansion).  Modelling also allows for a review of environmental impact related to sediment discharge, marine effluent dispersion, shoreline and habitat response to changes in sea levels or wave action, and atmospheric dispersion and noise levels.

A significant aspect of the work performed by RPS MetOcean involves the real-time measurement of environmental parameters such as waves, tides, currents and the full suite of meteorological inputs such as winds, air temperature, humidity, rainfall, solar radiation etc.  Data collected from the various measurement sensors is processed, displayed and archived using the in-house software package REMS (Remote Environmental Monitoring Software).  REMS allows for the data to be transferred via WAN/LAN, GSM, Radio Modem, Satellite and can disseminate the information throughout the client’s internal or wide area network.  Real-time data transmission technology also allows data collected at remote locations to be processed and made available to clients via the web and/or email.  Other technology employed includes buoy-mounted meteorological stations, tide gauges, conductivity sensors, sediment samplers and temperature loggers.

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