Office of Coast Survey
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
U.S. Department of Commerce

February 27, 2019

Greetings Coast Survey,

This is Neeraj Saraf, Acting Division Chief of the Coast Survey Development Laboratory (CSDL), and I am honored to open this week’s newsletter. I have been truly impressed by the world-class scientific and technical expertise we have in “the Lab” during my tenure as Acting Chief, and I learn something new each and every day from our team members and talented branch chiefs. I am pleased to share some of the recent exciting work taking place across the division.

CSDL is a unique place. We evaluate and bring to reality many new technological innovations in use across Coast Survey, NOAA operations, and to the public. We maintain and secure our computing infrastructure, data holdings, and ensure Coast Survey personnel have the technology resources necessary to advance our mission through IT. Bringing it all together is a seasoned staff managing Coast Surveys’ Project Portfolio Management (PPM), national and international efforts (such as S-100 standards and API development), accountable property, contract task monitoring, GIS, and acquisition experts.

You will read more below about our progress with autonomous launch conversions on NOAA Ship Rainer to automate survey data acquisitions. This is an exciting effort in the Hydrographic Systems and Technology Branch (HSTB), led by Lt. Damian Manda. The possibilities are growing by the day — imagine robot boats everywhere someday!

Our modeling group, led by Dr. Edward Myers, continues to make fantastic progress towards NOAA’s ever-increasing ability to provide advanced forecasting and decision making support to the mariner. Coupling of models increases coverage, precision, and breadth for forecasting. CSDL also provides advance storm surge forecasting to NOAA’s National Hurricane Center, assisting local authorities in pre-storm planning as well as response activities during and after.

Cloud computing has taken a quantum leap, both in interest, and capabilities. IT, led by acting branch chief, Thanh Pham, is working hard to develop an infrastructure architecture of the future, one that is resilient, supports continuity of operations, is scalable, and meets all federal and NOAA IT and security requirements.

CSDL also is a part of several wide-ranging initiatives, such as the dissemination solution for Precision Navigation, National Bathymetric Source, and the newly announced next-generation chart efforts, only to name a few. Again, I am deeply blessed to work with such a robust and talented group of professionals in CSDL, and look forward to even more innovations in the future.

One final note: earlier today (Wednesday, February 27), CSDL hosted the first in a resumed series of technical seminars titled “Safe navigation and accurate total water levels during and post extreme events." I hope you were able to attend. We will continue to bring topics of interest across Coast Survey on a regular basis.

Neeraj Saraf

Acting Division Chief, Coast Survey Development Laboratory