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NOS-Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System (PORTS)
browse graphic The Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System (PORTS) is a program of the National Ocean Service that supports safe and cost-efficient navigation by providing ship masters and pilots with accurate real-time information required to avoid groundings and collisions. This technological innovation has the potential to save the maritime insurance industry from multimillion dollar claims resulting from shipping accidents. PORTS includes centralized data acquisition and dissemination systems that provide real-time water levels, currents, and other oceanographic and meteorological data from bays and harbors to the maritime user community in a variety of user friendly formats, including telephone voice response and Internet. Also, PORTS provides nowcasts and predictions of these parameters with the use of numerical circulation models. Telephone voice access to accurate real-time water level information allows U.S. port authorities and maritime shippers to make sound decisions regarding loading of tonnage (based on available bottom clearance), maximizing loads and limiting passage times without compromising safety.