An array of sensors that provide ships and other users in the Port of Jacksonville with real-time tidal and weather information was dedicated Wednesday.
The Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System (PORTS) is designed to save money, improve safety and enhance research regarding conditions in the St. Johns River.
The $2.8 million PORTS system offers data from 18 stations and 46 sensors located along 67 miles of the St. Johns River in Northeast Florida; it is the second largest such installation in the nation.
Knowledge of currents, water levels, winds and density of the water can enable shippers to optimize cargo loads so that vessel captains and pilots are using every inch of available channel depth safely, maximizing profits and efficiency.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration developed the system.
There are also PORTS systems in Charleston Harbor, Cherry Point, Chesapeake Bay, Delaware River and Bay, Houston/Galveston, Humboldt Bay, Lake Charles, Los Angeles/Long Beach, the lower Columbia River, the lower Mississippi River, Mobile Bay, Narragansett Bay, New Haven, New London, the Port of New York and New Jersey, Pascagoula, Port of Anchorage, Sabine Neches, San Francisco Bay, the Soo Locks, Tacoma and Tampa Bay.
Data from the systems can be viewed at a NOAA website