Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2011

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Aerospace Engineering Sciences

First Advisor

George Born

Second Advisor

Robert Leben

Third Advisor

Charles Fowler


In July 2007, a new Light Detection And Ranging (LIDAR)-based water-level measurement system was installed at the Harvest platform with the goals of assessing potential drifts in the primary National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) water level (bubbler) system, and of providing insight on other environmental conditions which may affect the bubbler accuracy. Additionally, the LIDAR provides an independent measure of significant wave height (SWH), which has traditionally been derived from nearby buoys. The open ocean environment of the Harvest Platform has presented significant challenges. Despite these difficult operating conditions, the LIDAR system has shown promise in being able to assess drift in the bubbler as well as the dependencies on SWH and wind speed. However, a longer time series of data, better environmental condition measurements, and better characterization of the laser performance are needed in order to make an assessment of these parameters with the desired accuracy.