Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Rogue Wave Detection

Date:
November 19, 2007
Source:
University of Alcalá
Summary:
Giant waves, also known as monster waves, have been talked about by sailors for centuries, often related to unexplained disappearances at sea, but no one quite believed them. They have been considered merely a myth until recently, when new studies using technological developments like buoys, radars and satellites have scientifically proven the existence of rouge waves, and that they exist in much higher numbers than it was ever expected.

Rogue wave detection. The image on the left corresponds to the raw radar image, while the one on the right is the image once processed by the software.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Alcalá

Giant waves, also known as monster waves, have been talked about by sailors for centuries, often related to unexplained disappearances at sea, but no one quite believed them. They have been considered merely a myth until recently, when new studies using technological developments like buoys, radars and satellites have scientifically proven the existence of rouge waves, and that they exist in much higher numbers than it was ever expected.

These rogue waves could be the cause of tragic accidents at sea, not only because of their immense power and heights that reach over 30 meters, but it is their unpredictable nature that poses a bigger threat; they emerge as unexpected mighty walls of water towering from calm seas. This is why Jose Carlos Nieto, a researcher from the Universidad de Alcalá, Madrid in collaboration with the German research centre GKSS have developed a software tool that can detect these waves and monitor their evolution in time and space.

There are currently other methods of detection, like wave rider buoys to measure the height of waves at sea, but the information they provide is not as complete since buoys only measure the waves at a single point at sea, thus lacking the spatial dimension. This software detects the wave front from a radar image and is now being commercialised by a spin-off company of the GKSS.

The image of the sea that forms on a radar screen is the result of different mechanisms of interaction between the electromagnetic energy emitted by the radar and the sea surface. The detection of the reflected energy from the wave by the system does not depend so much on the wave’s height, but on other factors such as the wind and wave inclination.

The tool developed by Professor Nieto from the signal theory department of the Universidad de Alcalá translates the radar image into a measurement of the elevation of the waves. The software uses a mathematical model to evaluate and process by different mechanisms the radar image that is generated and another model to determine the spatial and temporal dimensions of the waves.

In the radar images above, the image on the left corresponds to the raw radar image, while the one on the right is the image once processed by the software. Thanks to the colour code it can be appreciated that higher waves propagate as a group. This effect is called wave grouping and has a great relevance for the safety of marine structures such as ships, dikes, platforms. The software can be used to provide warning of an approaching extreme wave, giving time to prepare and minimise its effects.

The accurate wave dynamics that the software provides could also be used to predict the precise trajectory of oil spills and other contaminants that float on the sea, and it is on this application that most of the current investigation is being carried out at the Universidad de Alcalá by Professor Nieto, member of the High frequency technology group, among other specialists like physicists and telecommunications engineers from the signal theory department of the UAH.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Alcalá. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Alcalá. "Rogue Wave Detection." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 November 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071117091502.htm>.
University of Alcalá. (2007, November 19). Rogue Wave Detection. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071117091502.htm
University of Alcalá. "Rogue Wave Detection." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071117091502.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Newsy (July 28, 2014) — The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs struck at the worst time for them. A new study says that if it hit earlier or later, they might've survived. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming

The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming

AP (July 28, 2014) — AP Investigation: As the Obama administration weans the country off dirty fuels, energy companies are ramping-up overseas coal exports at a heavy price. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) — A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) — A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins