AbstractThe accuracy of directional wave spectra sensors is crucial for obtaining accurate forecasts of ocean and coastal wave conditions for scientific and engineering applications. In this paper, a newly designed, low-cost GPS-based wave buoy, called the Directional Wave Spectra Drifter (DWSD), is presented. A field test campaign was conducted at the Gulf of Naples, Italy with the goal of comparing the directional wave properties obtained with the DWSD and with a nearly co-located bottom-mounted Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) from Teledyne RD-Instruments. The comparison shows a very good agreement between the two methodologies. The reliability of this innovative instrument and its low costs allow a large variety of applications, including the implementation of a global, satellite-linked, real-time open-ocean network of drifting directional wave spectra sensors and monitoring the sea-state in harbors to aid ship transit and for planning coastal and offshore constructions. The DWSD is currently in use to better constrain the wave energy climatology with the goal of optimizing the design of a full-scale prototype Wave Energy Converter (WEC) in the port of Naples, Italy.
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