From the experimental to the operational tool

Interview of Anne Molcard, Scientific Coordinator, Mediterranean Institute of Oceanology (MIO) of the University of Sud Toulon-Var

TOSCA is now in its 3rd & last year, what are the main conclusions concerning the projects outputs?

"We have shown that actual methods, based primarily on numerical models, have major limitations. This is particularly due to a lack of observational data. The use of HF radars can provide real-time mapping of surface currents, day and night and supplement current observational methods (aircraft or satellite observation). We have also shown that the use of specifically designed drifters (oil-spill or S&R) can provide low-cost and immediate information on surface currents and dispersal. The observations obtained using radars or drifters can also be used to provide data for numerical models to improve forecasting."

What are the main perspectives?

"The TOSCA project has allowed to implement a prototype that could become operational and be integrated into existing crisis management systems. For this to happen, a Mediterranean network of radars needs to be created, with a particular focus on critical coastal areas (high risk regions: large harbours, oil-refineries, areas of marine traffic convergence, oil-pipeline end-points and environmentally sensitive areas). This network would then have to be constantly maintained and monitored. The methodologies implemented by TOSCA (data numerical models, LAVA) need to be automated and integrated into existing operational systems throughout the Mediterranean, in collaboration with projects such as MEDESS-4MS. We can also look to the industrial development, at a European level, of different types of drifters, designed for crisis situations and which could allow us to supply container ships, liners, oil platforms with a significant number of drifters to be used in case of a maritime accident." 

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TOSCA project: Conclusions and Perspectives

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