REON, Knots and River Pilots: Tradition Meets Innovation on the Hudson

The River and Estuary Observatory Network (REON) research team is working with the Hudson River Pilots Association to provide mariner-friendly data that will assist with safe passage of ships into the Port of Albany. As often happens, REON data first had to be translated into a usable form, in this case for the expert navigators of the association. This is not as straightforward as it might sound. Our engineers use the metric system and typically express the speed of river currents in centimeters per second, which is arcane enough for most of us. But the pilots have the engineers beat: they use “knots.” A knot is one nautical mile per hour, equal to 1.852 kilometers per hour or 1.51 miles per hour.

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