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The South Atlantic Bight Synoptic Offshore Observational Network (SABSOON) was a near-real-time oceanographic and meteorological observation system in the coastal waters off Georgia. The system was installed by the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography (SkIO) with initial funding by the National Oceanographic Partnership Project (NOPP) on a U. S. Navy Tactical Aircrew Training Systems (TACTS) grid of towers built on the middle to outer continental shelf. SABSOON operated from the spring of 1999 to the fall of 2009. Three of the towers were outfitted with instrumentation; R2 at latitude 31 22.4950N, longitude 80 33.9900W and water depth of 27 meters, M2/R6 at longitude 31 32.0000N, latitude 80 14.0033W and water depth 35 meters, and R8, latitude 31 37.9917N, longitude 79 55.4967W in water depth of 44 meters.

Each hour near-real-time meteorological and oceanographic observations were relayed via the Navy tower microwave data link to an onshore communications tower and by T1 line to the campus of the SkIO. At the SkIO each tower's data was formatted for hourly transmission to the National Data Buoy Center, the National Weather Service and the World Meteorological Organization. Automated scripts updated web pages disseminating the hourly data to the public.

All three towers carried a meteorological instrument package including redundant anemometers, a barometer, air temperature, relative humidity and radiometric (PAR, PSP, PIR) sensors, and a tipping-bucket rain gauge. R2 and R8 towers reported wave heights and wave periods using data derived from a high frequency pressure sensor mounted at 6 m below mean low water on the tower structure. From 2002 to 2008 current velocity and direction were measured at R2 with a real-time upward-looking ADCP installed in a mooring frame approximately 200 meters from the tower. M2/R6 had a similar ADCP installation from 2001 through summer of 2006. Tower R8 had an operating ADCP for about 18 months from 2004 to 2006.

Two oceanographic instrument packages including a Seabird CTD, Wetlabs chlorophyll-a fluorometer and a PAR underwater radiation sensor were mounted near the surface and a few meters above the bottom on tower R2 from 1999 through 2008, and on tower M2/R6 from 2001 through spring of 2004. Some surface CTD data is also available for R8 tower.

Most instrument packages reported observations every six minutes. The meteorological data was a six-minute average of 1 Hz data. Oceanographic data was averaged over the six-minute interval according to the limits of the instrument. The high resolution pressure sensor operated at 2 Hz with automated Matlab processing scripts producing six-minute wave statistics. ADCP six-minute files were an average of 300-360 pings.

Archived raw data from the SABSOON may be made available to the researcher on a limited basis. The files are of two types, raw ascii text or matlab files. The raw ascii text files are columnar daily files containing six-minute observations with a filename format using a prefix for the parameter along with a time stamp. Matlab data is the six-minute raw data with parameter names processed from daily into monthly files. Raw ADCP files are hexadecimal strings, and the Matlab files are six minute observations in a monthly file. Files are archived by parameters measured and then by month; met observations, wave observations, near surface or near bottom observations, and ADCP files. The NDBC has archived meteorological data from 2004 through 2009 available through their website for the three towers. In order to access this data the user must search using the CMAN station code for each tower; R2 is SPAG1, M2/R6 is SKMG1, and R8 is TYBG1.

For questions regarding data access please contact:
Trent Moore (email)
Jim Nelson (email)

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