SAWS deploys first wave measuring buoy in Table Bay

Posted on 30 May 2019

SAWS has deployed the first wave measuring buoy off the port of Cape Town in order to assess forecast model performance and provide valuable maritime safety information.

Thursday 30th May was an exciting day for the SAWS Marine Unit as they deployed the first real-time wave measuring buoy in Table Bay, Cape Town with partners Lwandle Technologies.

This deployment marks a considerable leap in the continued enhancement of metocean information delivery which SAWS has undertaken. Having recently developed a range of high resolution wave forecasting tools, the Marine Unit is now looking to improve its ability to evaluate the accuracy of these systems by acquiring real-time feeds of measured data.

The chosen deployment site is particularly interesting, having been chose so as to challenge to forecasting systems as far as possible. The site will test our models’ performance in simulating the complex refraction of the prevailing (south-westerly) swell into Table Bay and around Robben Island. It will also test the system’s ability to resolve the effects of Cape Town’s famous south-easterly and north-westerly winds. As such, the team is confident that the project will be a robust indicator of forecast reliability under difficult conditions.

Tania Williams, a researcher in the SAWS Marine Unit, said “This is exciting, not only for metocean science in South Africa but also for SAWS, being the first deployment of its kind for the Service. We are keen to use these data to further refine our forecasting tools as well as deepen our understanding of the processes at play in Table Bay, an important maritime key point.”

SAWS Marine is grateful for the tremendous support of Lwandle Technologies in realizing this achievement.