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ONE Planet DTP - Ocean wave field and climate monitoring with a GNSS Wave Glider (OP20292)

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, January 31, 2020
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Ocean wave field monitoring is needed for climatology, as it controls the input of wind stress into the oceanic mixed layer and thereby serves as a control for the global ocean climate. Accurately measuring the wave field is also important for the detection of other sea surface signals, such as tsunami waves. Whilst the ocean wave field can be predicted (modelled) if wind measurements are available from ships or autonomous sea vehicles, direct measurements of the wave heights themselves are scarce. This project will address this using a roving, unmanned, self-propelled and self-powered ocean surface vehicle (the Wave Glider), in combination with high precision measurements from Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), to measure and monitor the wave field. Comparisons with state-of-the-art wave model (e.g. WAM) predictions will be made and (potentially) wave sensor data. Different GNSS processing and analysis methods for wave measurement will be tested and enhanced, to obtain cm-precision wave heights. These include precise point positioning and Doppler-shifted velocities, both of which may be used anywhere globally. Data sets used in the project will be collected both in the North Sea off the Northumberland coast, and off the west coast of Scotland where strong winds and storms occur more often. The project will involve collaboration with the National Oceanography Centre, Liverpool. The student will be trained in geodesy (GNSS positioning), oceanography and wave modelling, develop field skills, and programming, scripting and high-performance computing skills under the Linux operating system.

Funding Notes

Good Master’s or Bachelor’s degree in a mathematical-based subject (e.g. maths, physics, oceanography, geophysics, engineering, surveying), preferably including experience in computer programming and/or scripting.


This project is part of the ONE Planet DTP. Find out more here: View Website

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