Delivering High Quality tools and Data for NOAA CWOW Scientist

Department of Commerce National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Coastwatch/Oceanwatch (CWOW)

How RIVA Delivers High Quality Tools and Oceanographic Data for the Scientist


Communication of scientific information and data to the public is part of NOAA’s mission, and scientific visualization is often the public’s first encounter with the agency’s data. The ocean is constantly changing and is full of interesting phenomena. Satellites allow us to view and learn about the ocean on a scale that is not otherwise possible.

Scientist observe oceanographic features through satellites, and RIVA’s CoastWatch/Oceanwatch products help them analyze the data. These data sets are also available to the public at Our job is to ensure sustained and easy access to the best quality ocean satellite data by user.

Core members of the current CWOW support team have worked on NOAA CWOW program for 20+ years, and they have automated the data and software product pipeline for CWOW which includes automating the satellite scan and maps projected in HDF, NetCDF and NOAA 1b formats into 20 Java-based programs. We then preprocess the data into 20 different visualization tools for analysts to analyze the data. These Java applications can be deployed to Windows, Linux and MacOS platforms that include highly parallel processing due to the high complexity of the data processing that needs to run through our scientific mathematical algorithms. We also support the Linux and Windows virtual hosting platforms creating fault tolerant scalable infrastructures that scale horizontally and vertically.

We also designed and implemented CWOW data portals with state of art GIS and data distribution technologies, such as Google and ArcGIS map services, and SQL Server for databases.

How Are Our Products Used?

The automated EA efforts have been used for a variety of NOAA operations including monitoring of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

RIVA staff are currently working on developing ESA Sentinel 1 SAR wind products for the National Weather Service and the National Ice Center.

Additionally, our personnel collaborated with a US-European team for a feasibility study on wind vector detection.

RIVA personnel have a long history of experience in working with EA European science teams and NASA scientists on tasks ranging from formation flight application for remote sensing satellites to lidar ocean and ice returns. Our staff have 20 years of life cycle enterprise architecture experience in support of this program.

RIVA is an innovative SBA-certified 8(a) SDB