Opportunity number
Department of Commerce (DOC)
Due date
May 27, 2020
Education Education & Workforce Environment Information Technologies Infrastructure Public Safety
Project funding
Program funding
Funding size
Below $9M

Ocean and Coastal Mapping Centers

RFP Summary provided by the agency

The purpose of this notice is to solicit proposals for a single cooperative agreement between NOAA and an institution of higher learning. The Hydrographic Services Improvement Act and the Coastal and Ocean Mapping Integration Act has authorized NOAA to operate up to three joint-ocean and coastal mapping centers of excellence for the nation. These centers typically focus on coastal and ocean research, applied hydrography, disaster response, forecasting, remote sensing technologies, and graduate education.

The program priorities for this opportunity support NOAA’s mission goal of “Resilient Coastal Communities and Economies” and the objective of “Safe, efficient and environmentally sound marine transportation.”

Program Priorities

1. Research and Development

  • Multi-beam sonar integration into unmanned systems – There is a need for integration of hydrographic sensors onboard a platform of limited power and communications capability. The use of unmanned system operation can also include coastal and shoreline mapping and other data fusion ideas that have been proposed in order to quantify and characterize the oceanographic quantities of the surveyed area.
  • Geodetic observations – Precise positioning and modeling of water levels from GNSS observations. Outcomes of such a research support the development of separation values for the ellipsoid to tidal datums. If this technique proves viable, it will provide a new method for tidal measurement in offshore and remote areas that is less susceptible to vandalism and other hazards associated with a coastal stations. This research supports surveying on the ellipsoid and VDatum improvements.

2. Applied Hydrography for Coastal and Disaster Response

  • Innovative integration and engineering efforts of manned and unmanned systems – It is necessary for NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey to be able to collect data in domestic ports, shallow bays, “back waters,” etc., and remote areas requiring long endurance, such as the Arctic Ocean and numerous regions of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean.
  • Operation of manned and unmanned systems in Disaster Response mode – Such operational research should be aligned with current (and planned) hydrographic operations from NOAA’s Gulf of Mexico Disaster Response Center (DRC). This can include Standard Operational Procedures (SOP) and operational logistics, such as transfer of data to a land station or processing in a cloud environment.
  • Visualization – As part of this operation research, there should be a component for the development of visualization tools for disaster response hydrographic data and other observations. These tools can support processing and provide better communication of the current status of a feature during and after a survey.

3. Forecasting and Remote Sensing Technologies

  • Nesting models to support navigation – Development of higher resolution model for near shore and in ports to support dynamic bathymetry, precision navigation, backscatter calibration, and surface currents.
  • Hydrographic surveying to coastal models – Develop a methodology to identify the sensitivity of bathymetry and bottom type on hydrodynamic models. Develop rules of thumb to understand which areas of bathymetry are likely to have larger effect on certain parameters in the models and impact they may have on the skill of the model.
  • Community engagement – Collaborating to develop high-resolution coastal models can be also used for creating a network of academic and government centers (e.g., National Water Center). Example of such an effort is the Earth Prediction Innovation Center (EPIC) that is used to accelerate community-developed scientific and technological enhancements into the operational applications for numerical weather prediction.

4. Graduate Education and Professional Training

  • Category A (CAT-A) and specialized hydrographic trainings – Develop ocean and coastal mapping courses and teach them. These training classes should be available to personnel at academic centers, agencies with ocean and coastal mapping programs, civilian personnel, and to members of NOAA and Commissioned Officer Corps. All attendance costs for members of NOAA and Commissioned Officer Corps will be at NOAA’s expense.
  • Seminars – Provide technical seminars, specialized conferences and workshops to train hydrographic and oceanographic professionals.
  • Communication of new standards – Preparation and provision of capacity building in transition to the S-1xx decade.
  • Data processing and High Performance Computing – Extend collaborations with regional high performance computing centers to support coastal and ocean modelling and NOAA’s artificial intelligence initiatives. Design approaches for implementing workflows for data processing.

What is the mission and focus of the program: research, social, economic or others?

Research and Development, Resilience

How do you submit to this opportunity?

Applications are available through www.grants.gov.

Who are the target applicants: cities, universities, companies, small business, nonprofits, or others?

Eligible applicants are institutions of higher education, nonprofit organizations, and state or local government agencies. The Office of Coast Survey, NOS, NOAA encourages proposals from any of the above institutions.


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