Going with the flow: Advancement of data collection and analysis tools for utilizing drifter data in tidal energy applications.

This project aims to further develop cost-effective methods for characterizing fluid flow fields in high-energy tidal channels, with a focus on use of low-profile drifters to calibrate and validate numerical models of ocean flows. The project will focus on the Finite-Volume Community Ocean Model (FVCOM) used by Acadia and Luna Ocean, primarily for tidal energy site assessment in the Bay of Fundy. The use of measurements gathered by various types of drifters provides a cost effective method for mapping flow fields, resolving spatial and short-term temporal variation in tidal flows. This project will further develop Luna Ocean Data Analysis Software (LODAS), utilizing some open source tools in Acadia’s existing ‘PySeidon’ tidal software package. The result will be an increased understanding of the accuracy of drifter measurements and module for LODAS that will calibrate and quantify errors within FVCOM using flow velocity data measured from drifters. We expect the results to advance tools used for commercial tidal energy site assessments as well as provide detailed tidal information for local high-interest regions for tidal energy developments.

Faculty Supervisor:

Richard Karsten


Jeremy Locke


Luna Ocean Consulting Ltd.




Alternative energy




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