Institute of Marine & Coastal Sciences
71 Dudley Road
New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901 732.932.6555
The Coastal Ocean Observation Lab (COOL) at Rutgers University is part of the Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences. The lab was established in October 1992 by Dr. Scott M. Glenn. Funding for the creation of the Lab came from a grant by the Port Authority of New York/New Jersey.
The COOL was originally called the Remote Sensing Lab because its main ocean monitoring instrument was a Seaspace satellite receiving system. This system currently receives and processes real-time data from NOAA's AVHRR (sea surface temperature), NASA's Aqua MODIS (sea surface temperature, chlorophyll concentration, backscatter and absorption), India's OCM-1 (chlorophyll concentration) and China's FY1-D (ocean color) satellites.
Now, satellite data are only a part of our work. We record daily information on surface currents from our HF-RADAR systems (CODAR), surface and underwater weather from our field station in Tuckerton (Little Egg Harbor) NJ, and underwater weather from our group of autonomous underwater gliders. All of this data is regulary placed on our web site in real- time (immediately). We pride ourselves on real-time ocean data delivery, which sets us apart from so many other research groups.
The COOL group is currently focusing on the development and deployment of a fleet of gliders to continuously patrol the coastal oceans. In order to achieve this goal, we are employing some of the same “smart” technologies that NASA has used in deploying earth-orbiting satellite constellations. This technology allows the gliders to adjust their current course based on the previously collected physical and optical data. When realized, this will allow for 24-hour-a-day data collection without constant supervision by a human scientist. The end result will be a glider fleet that will be able to detect and track oceanic features (i.e.: upwelling events, red-tides, and coastal eddies) from their formation to dissipation, improving our current understanding of the dynamical nature of coastal ecosystems and providing earlier detection of oceanic features that develop offshore and are advected into coastal waters.