» Request for proposal: Sea Level Stations in the Caribbean Sea
21.08.2012 - Natural Sciences Sector

Request for proposal: Sea Level Stations in the Caribbean Sea

© UNESCO/ Claude, MichelNon polluted sea near Haitian coasts (Haiti)

(Bid closing date: 14 September 2012)

The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission has been given the mandate by its member states to coordinate the implementation of the Tsunami and other Coastal Hazards Warning System for the Caribbean Sea and Adjacent Regions (CARIBE EWS).


The proposal should address the acquisition, installation and maintenance/leveling visits of the tide gauge equipment over one-year period. Details should be provided on how the maintenance visits will be carried out (i.e. number of repeat visits per year, involvement and on-site training of local tide gauge operators, costing etc.). It is envisioned that local Point of Contacts (POC) during the one-year project period gradually should take over the maintenance of the installed equipment.

The proposed configuration of the sea level stations should be based on high quality equipment that perform to the requirements and accuracy of the Global Sea Level Observing System (GLOSS) [See Manuals on Sea Level: Measurement and Interpretation, IOC Manuals and Guides 14; Annex I]

The proposed stations should have sufficient built in redundancy to function under conditions that can be expected in the region.

Without being prescriptive it is expected that a typical station configuration will consist of a primary tide gauge, two under water pressure sensor (secondary tide gauge), data logger, DCP geostationary satellite transmitter, modem, battery backup, solar panel, cables, mountings. Redundant data transmission channels (e.g. Internet or alternative (i.e. via Inmarsat BGAN or similar), as well as via dial-in modem access) should be implemented where possible. The redundant transmission can either be connected directly to the DCP/Datalogger for the primary water level sensors, or it can be a separate transmission unit connected to a second water level sensor. The bidder should provide comprehensive details on the set up and functionality of the proposed redundant transmission channel.

Stations should be able to run for a minimum of 48hrs without external power. The sea level station shall function independently of other equipment that may be installed in the vicinity (i.e. meteorological or other oceanographic equipment). For each sensor at the station site, 1-minute data samples shall be transmitted in CREX format via the public geostationary meteorological satellites (METEOSAT or GOES) every 5 minutes and every five minutes via the redundant transmission option.

The last major Western Atlantic basin tsunami event took place in August, 1946. Since then, population shifts to Caribbean coastal communities and “explosive” tourism has taken place (USA alone has millions of citizens vacationing there annually). Assessing risks based just on historical deaths, greatly understates today’s potential loss of life from Caribbean tsunamis. Despite coastal populations at risk being so much less in the past, we know at least 3503 lives were lost in the Caribbean Basin since 1842 (165 years).

Bid Closing Date and Time: 14 September 2012, 17:00 (GMT+01:00)


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