Lynker earned the NOAA Small Business Success Story of the Year Award for 2015 due to our innovative solutions on the National Ocean Service (NOS) Chart Tile Service (CTS) as noted below:
Lynker Technologies began a small internally-funded research project in 2011 that would eventually evolve to an important NOAA initiative. This example project described below demonstrates:
- Lynker invests in NOAA’s success
- The importance of having a NOAALink partner company that understands NOAA’s Mission needs
- Lynker’s cloud experience with both Amazon and NOAA Integrated Dissemination Portal
- Understanding the way industry wanted to receive and use NOAA products, disseminating this information to industry, and leveraging them as force multipliers.
Understanding that mobile application development was becoming increasingly important, Lynker began an Internal Research & Development (IR&D) of an Android mobile app for mariners. The purpose was to download and view NOAA’s United States Coast Pilot books. In 2012, Lynker demonstrated the Coast Pilot prototype to NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey (OCS). Coast Survey liked the idea and tasked Lynker to develop the prototype into a production-level NOAA technology demonstration as a Government-funded project.
Lynker leveraged open source technology to develop a nautical charts component that seamlessly linked Coast Pilot chart references and NOAA’s suite of 2,172 nautical chart datasets, displaying the chart within the app. The app was named MyNOAACharts and released to Google Play in May, 2013 for the general public to download and use.
MyNOAACharts was widely considered a great success, with thousands of users and an excellent rating of 4.6. More importantly, it highlighted for Coast Survey how its nautical charts were being used by its customers: commercial mariners, recreational boaters, and the maritime electronics industry. The various system and mobile app developers had been quilting and tiling (quilting and tiling refer to the reformatting of NOAA charts for display in web and mobile applications) NOAA’s charts in a variety of formats, there was no standard. Also, they were not updating chart information for their customers (the public) frequently due to the complexity and cost of the effort.
That is when OCS’s Marine Chart Division and Lynker had an idea. What if, instead of providing a Coast Survey mobile app to mariners and boaters, NOAA provided a free, standard, pre-packaged chart tile service, updated weekly, to maritime electronics and mobile app companies? Allow industry to determine the end products. This way, NOAA would provide industry with chart information that would be leveraged to millions of their customers – a force multiplier. Lynker accompanied Coast Survey to the Miami International Boat Show to access public interest and gather requirements. Based on strong industry interest, OCS directed Lynker to begin work on the Chart Tile Service in 2014. And because a NOAA production environment did not yet exist to host the tile service, Lynker (making sure the architecture used industry best practices and standards) developed a relationship with Amazon Web Services and deployed the initial prototypes on the Amazon cloud. This was a successful strategy that facilitated a smooth integration once NOAA’s Integrated Dissemination Portal (IDP) was selected as the environment to host the Chart Tile Service.
The Chart Tile Service has recently undergone a successful thirty-day public review period and is set for its first public release in December. As a trusted partner, Lynker continues to support NOAA’s mission with this development of the Chart Tile Service. By providing application developers with specially formatted and packaged nautical charts, those same developers can use the Chart Tile Service to share reliable nautical chart data in the systems and mobile applications they create for the public. This will set the standard for years to come. Active Captain is a mobile app, and an initial user of Chart Tiles Service. The Figure above shows how “super impressed” the app developer is with NOAA. They have used an API that Lynker developed, and easily integrated the entire Chart Tile Service – “It took 35 seconds and 1 line” of code! We put in the work to make it easy for NOAA customers!
Lynker provides field and operational support for a number of critical marine mammal programs throughout the Pacific. Our Marine Mammal Mammal Health and Response (MMHR) team collaborates as key members of the NMFS Pacific Island Protected Resource Division (PRD), in coordinating 24/7/365 response to strandings over a 2,000 area that covers the greater Hawaiian Island region. Our team works closely with University of Hawaii, Hawaii Pacific University, the Oceanic Institute, the Hawaiian Islands Marine Mammal Response Network (MMRN), the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources (DNLR), and other agencies and organizations in initial assessment, removal, necropsy, and/or treatment for injured or dead animals, as well as compiling data to assist researchers in determining root causes. We inform both NOAA and state and local authorities of key trends affecting Hawaiian mammals and our inputs directly contribute to resource management strategies and policies for compliance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the Magnusen-Stevens Act the Pacific region.
Lynker is at the forefront of helping NOAA and NMFS integrate ecosystem-driven management approaches to marine resource management that address key ecological, economic, and social concerns, as well as support effective decision making and policy implementation. We are partnering with the NMFS California Current Integrated Ecosystem Assessment (IEA) Program to collect and analyze field data to determine critical environmental and anhtropogenic reference points such as ecotoxicological thresholds used to support risk assessments, management strategies, and other public policy decisions. As part of our support, we obtain, prepare, and organize time series and spatial data related to human activities and ecological integrity indicators on the US West Coast. Our work also includes downloading publicly available data, assessing and ranking it based on sources (e.g., commercial, non-government organization, government, etc.), and organize and format the data for analysis; compiling time series and spatial data on human activities on the US West Coast at the finest spatial resolution available from various external and internal sources; organizing and formatting data for analysis using R software; analyzes and matching human activities data to spatial scale of available data on ecological integrity from the California Current IEA; and preparing R software scripts, reports, and other outputs to support additional data mining and analysis efforts. Lynker experts also work with the Conservation Biology Division (CB) Integrative Marine Ecology (IME) team in studying ecological dynamics, human activities, and climate processes that affect ecosystem composition, structure, and function in marine environments within the IEA and across the Pacific. Our efforts directly enable the IME to quantify the current status, trends, and spatiotemporal variation of key habitat, ecological, oceanographic and human activities indicators – key outputs PIFSC is also seeking in this solicitation. The datasets we develop on our IME task form the basis of ecosystem health assessments contributing to policy making, and conservation planning and budgeting efforts.
Lynker provides hydrologic, hydrometeorological, and reservoir mode calibration support to the National Weather Service through the various River Forecast Center offices around the country.
This ongoing tasks focuses on developing and optimizing watershed and reservoir models for more accurate streamflow. The project involved processing gridded and point-sourced hydrometeorological data for use in water balance analysis and model applications.
The primary component of the project is the calibration, evaluation, and operational implementation of models for use in the NWS river, flood, and drought forecast practices. An essential element of the project involves configurating/designing the hydrologic workflows and visual displays within the Flood Early Warning System (FEWS) and Community Hydrologic Prediction System (CHPS) software structure.
Tasked calibration models include:
Hydrologic Models: Sacramento Soil Moisture Accounting, Rain-Snow Elevation, SNOW-17, Consumptive Use, Channel Loss.
Routing Models: Lag and K, Tatum Coefficient, Muskingum, Glacier Routing, and Unit Hydrograph
Reservoir Models: RES-J and HEC-RESSim
Lynker has calibrated over 200 basins to a set of rigorous performance standards and has maintained and excellent client.
Lynker provides oversight on both development of a regional groundwater model of the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer (ESPAM) and its application in water resource management. The Eastern Snake Plain region produces approximately 21 percent of all goods and services within the State of Idaho resulting in an estimated value of $10 billion annually, and water is the critical element in the regions productivity.
The development of both groundwater and surface water use across the Eastern Snake Plain has led to conjunctive management of the common water resource. ESPAM is a groundwater model developed by the State of Idaho as a tool to help quantify the impacts of current water use practices and/or proposed alternatives on the common water resource of the State across the Eastern Snake Plain.