ICCE 2016 Cover Image


GPS drifting buoy (SVP)
Directional Wave Spectra
Drifter (DWSD)
Global Drifter Program (GDP)
Moored directional spectra wave buoy
Acoustic Doppler Current Profile (ADCP)
Directional Waverider (DWR)
surface gravity waves
Wave Energy Converter (WEC)

How to Cite

Centurioni, L., Braasch, L., Di Lauro, E., Contestabile, P., De Leo, F., Casotti, R., Franco, L., & Vicinanza, D. (2017). A NEW STRATEGIC WAVE MEASUREMENT STATION OFF NAPLES PORT MAIN BREAKWATER. Coastal Engineering Proceedings, 1(35), waves.36. https://doi.org/10.9753/icce.v35.waves.36


The 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.


Azzellino, A., D. Conley, D. Vicinanza, and J. Kofoed. 2013. Marine Renewable Energies: Perspectives and Implications for Marine Ecosystems, Scientific World Journal, vol. 2013, 547-563.

Benoit, M., P. Frigaard, and H.A. Schäffer. 1997. Analysing multidirectional wave spectra: a tentative classification of available methods, In Proceedings of the 1997 IAHR conference, San Francisco, 131-158.

Buccino, M., D. Vicinanza, D. Salerno, D. Banfi, and M. Calabrese. 2015a. Nature and magnitude of wave loadings at Seawave Slot-cone Generators, Ocean Engineering, 95, 34-58.

Buccino, M., D. Stagonas, and D. Vicinanza. 2015b. Development of a composite sea wall wave energy converter system, Renewable Energy, 81, 509-522.

Centurioni, L., A. Horányi, C. Cardinali, E. Charpentier and R. Lumpkin. 2016. A Global Ocean Observing System for Measuring Sea Level Atmospheric Pressure: Effects and Impacts on Numerical Weather Prediction. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, (In press)

Colbert D. 2010. Field Evaluation of Ocean Wave Measurements with GPS Buoy, PhD dissertation, Monterey, California. Naval Postgraduate School.

Contestabile, P., V. Ferrante, and D. Vicinanza. 2015. Wave Energy Resource along the Coast of Santa Catarina (Brazil), Energies 8(12), 14219-14243.

Contestabile, P., V. Ferrante, E. Di Lauro, and D. Vicinanza. 2016. Prototype overtopping breakwater for wave energy conversion at port of Naples, Proceeding of the 26th International Ocean and Polar Engineering Conference, ISOPE, 616-621.

Contestabile, P., C. Iuppa, E. Di Lauro, L. Cavallaro, T. Lykke Andersen, and D. Vicinanza, 2017a. Wave loadings acting on innovative rubble mound breakwater for overtopping wave energy conversion, Coastal Engineering, 122, 60-74.

Contestabile, P., E. Di Lauro, M. Buccino, and D. Vicinanza. 2017b. Economic assessment of Overtopping BReakwater for Energy Conversion (OBREC): a case study in Western Australia, Sustainability, 9(1), 51.

Contestabile, P., V. Ferrante, E. Di Lauro, and D. Vicinanza. 2017c. Full-scale prototype of an overtopping breakwater for wave energy conversion, Proceeding of the 35th International Conference Coastal Engineering, ICCE, Antalya, Turkey.

de Vries, J.J. 2007. Designing a GPS-based mini wave buoy, International Ocean Systems, May/June 2007, 11(3), 20-23.

de Vries, J.J., J. Waldron, and V. Cunningham. 2003. Field tests of the new datawell DWR-G GPS wave buoy, Sea Technology, 44(12), 50-55.

Earle, M. D. 1984. Development of algorithms for separation of sea and swell, National Data Buoy Center Tech Rep MEC-87-1, Hancock County, 53, 585.

Franco, L., R. Piscopia, S. Corsini, and R. Inghilesi. 2004. L'Atlante delle onde nei mari italiani - Italian Wave Atlas, Full Final Report by APAT-University of Roma Tre, sponsored by AIPCN Italian Section and Italia Navigando, Roma.

Gilhousen, D. B., and R. Hervey. 2001. Improved estimates of swell from moored buoys, In Proc. Fourth International Symposium on Ocean Wave Measurement and Analysis, San Francisco, California, September 2-6, 2001, 387-393.

Herbers, T.H.C., P.F. Jessen, T.T. Janssen, D.B. Colbert, and J.H. MacMahan. 2012. Observing ocean surface waves with GPS-tracked buoys, Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, 29(7), 944-959.

Huang M.C., J.Y. Chen. 1998. Wave Direction Analysis from Data Buoys, Ocean Engineering, 25(8), 621-637.

Jeans, G., I. Bellamy, J.J. de Vries, and P. van Weert. 2003. Sea trial of the new Datawell GPS directional Waverider. Proceedings of the IEEE/OES Seventh Working Conference on Current Measurement Technology, IEEE, 145-147.

Joodaki, G., H. Nahavandchi, and K. Cheng. 2013. Ocean wave measurement using GPS buoys, Journal of Geodetic Science, 3(3), 163-172.

Krogstad, H.E., R.L. Gordon, and M.C. Miller. 1988. High resolution directional wave spectra from horizontally mounted acoustic Doppler current meters, Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, 5, 340-352.

Krogstad, H.E., S.F. Barstow, O. Haug, P.Ø. Markussen, G. Ueland, and I. Rodriguez. 1997. SMART-800: a GPS based directional wave buoy, In Ocean Wave Measurement and Analysis, ASCE, 1182-1195.

Krogstad, H.E., S.F. Barstow, S.E. Aasen, and I. Rodriguez. 1999. Some recent developments in wave buoy measurement technology, Coastal engineering, 37(3), 309-329.

Long, R.B. 1980. The statistical evaluation of directional spectrum estimates derived from pitch/roll buoy data, Journal of Physical Oceanography, 10, 944-952.

Longuet-Higgins, M.S., D.E. Cartwright, and N.D. Smith. 1963. Observations of the directional spectrum of sea waves using the motions of a floating buoy, Ocean Wave Spectra, Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 111-136.

Maximenko, N., R. Lumpkin, and L. Centurioni. 2013. Ocean surface circulation, In Ocean Circulation and Climate: A 21st Century Perspective, edited by G. Siedler, S.M. Griffies, J. Gould, and J.A. Church, Academic Press, 283-304.

Mitsuyasu, H., F. Tasai, T. Suhara, S. Mizuno, M. Ohkusu, T. Honda, and K. Rikiishi. 1975. Observations of the directional spectrum of ocean waves using a Cloverleaf Buoy, Journal of Physical Oceanography, 5, 750-760.

Niiler, P.P. 2001. The World Ocean Surface Circulation. In Ocean Circulation and Climate, edited by G. Siedler, J. Church and J. Gould. Academic Press, 193-204.

Pinkel, R., and J.A. Smith. 1987. Open ocean surface wave measurements using Doppler sonar, Journal of Geophysical Research, 92, 12,967-12,973.

Portilla, J., L. Cavaleri, and G. Van Vledder. 2015. Wave spectra partitioning and long term statistical distribution, Ocean Modelling, 96, 148-160.

Portilla, J., F.J. Ocampo-Torres, and J. Monbaliu. 2009. Spectral Partitioning and Identification of Wind Sea and Swell, Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, 26(1), 107-122.

Postacchini, M., L. R. Centurioni, L. Braasch, M. Brocchini and D. Vicinanza. 2016. Lagrangian Observations of Waves and Currents From the River Drifter, Oceanic Engineering, IEEE Journal of, 41(1), 94-104.

Smith, J.A. 1989. Doppler sonar and surface waves: Range and resolution, Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, 6, 680-696.

Steele, K.E., C. Teng, and D.W.C Wang. 1992. Wave direction measurements using pitch-roll buoys, Ocean Engineering, 19 (4), 349-375.

Strong, B., B. Brumley, E.A. Terray, and G.W. Stone, 2000. The performance of ADCP derived wave directional spectra and comparison with other independent measurements. In OCEANS 2000 MTS/IEEE Conference and Exhibition, 1195-1203.

Terray, E.A., B.H. Brumley, and B. Strong. 1999. Measuring waves and currents with an upward-looking ADCP, Proceedings IEEE 6th Working Conference on Current Measurement, IEEE Press, 66-71.

Vicinanza, D., J.H. Nørgaard, P. Contestabile, and T. Lykke-Andersen. 2013. Wave loadings acting on overtopping breakwater for energy conversion, Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue 65, 1669-1674.

Vicinanza D., P. Contestabile, J.H. Nørgaard, T. Lykke-Andersen. 2014. Innovative rubble mound breakwaters for overtopping wave energy conversion, Coastal Engineering, 88, 154 170.

Violante-Carvalho, N., C. E. Parente, I. S. Robinson, and L. M. P. Nunes. 2002. On the growth of wind generated waves in a swell dominated region in the South Atlantic, Journal of Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering, ASME, 124, 14-21.

Voorrips, A. C., V. K. Makin, and S. Hasselmann. 1997. Assimilation of wave spectra from pitch-and-roll buoys in a North Sea wave model, Journal of Geophysics, 102, 5829-5849.

Wang, D. W., and P. A. Hwang. 2001. An operational method for separating wind sea and swell from ocean wave spectra, Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, 18, 2052-2062.

Authors retain copyright and grant the Proceedings right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this Proceedings.