SETI On the Beach? No, R U COOL!


In my beach travels these past weeks I noticed these antenna things installed at the Town Beach Park at Point Lookout.

Yesterday on my sunset search I said hi to the guy as he walked in slow motion with a 8 foot high 10 foot wide antenna in his hands.

I went on my way not to miss the sunset. While taking pictures the guy with the contraption joined me for some picture taking.


Of course, I had to ask “so what are you guys doing?” Glad I did!

Meet Ethan Handel, Research Project Coordinator for Rutgers University Coastal Ocean Observation Lab (RU COOL). They’re currently calibrating the radar system they installed that tracks ocean currents.


This radar system measures sea surface and thus, also sees the wind that pushes the currents.

Click here to see their real time ocean currents information at MARACOOS

This information benefits the US Coast Guard, and the data on wind patterns and speeds will aid in siting the planned offshore wind farms both off New Jersey and Long Island.

The data is also helping fishermen and boaters, can help authorities track problems and make decisions on beach closures for red tide or other events. There is some Homeland Security application for unknown vessels as well.


Back up top, I spoke briefly with his partner Colin Evans who was holding down the calibration center fort (ok, that’s just what I’ll call their work truck). He pointed me in the right direction of their website. “We’re glad when people ask so we can tell them what we do” he said.

Really interesting work. Check the links to find more.

Click here to find out more about the project and RU COOL.

Click here for info on this project.

Over and out.


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