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Dana Manalang

Principal Engineer






Dana Manalang is a Principal Engineer in the APL-UW Electronics and Photonic Systems Department. She has held key roles in system development, testing, commissioning, and operations programs across multiple industries including ocean instrumentation, wireless sensor networks, semiconductor processing equipment, and defense.

She earned a B.S. in Ocean Engineering at Florida Institute of Technology and received her M.S.E.E from UC Berkeley. Before joining APL-UW in 2009, Dana was the Lead AUV Systems Engineer at Fugro Seafloor Surveys. She currently manages instrument operations and maintenance for the OOI Cabled Array.

Department Affiliation

Electronic & Photonic Systems


B.S. Ocean Engineering, Florida Institute of Technology, 1998

M.S. Electrical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, 2000


2000-present and while at APL-UW

Multi-stressor observations and modeling to build understanding of and resilience to the coastal impacts of climate change

Newton, J., P. MacCready, S. Siedlecki, D. Manalang, J. Mickett, S. Alin, E. Schumacker, J. Hagen, S. Moore, A. Sutton, and R. Carini, "Multi-stressor observations and modeling to build understanding of and resilience to the coastal impacts of climate change," Oceanography, 34, 86-87, 2022.

7 Jan 2022

Cost-optimal wave-powered persistent oceanographic observation

Dillon, T., B. Maurer, M. Lawson, D.S. Jenne, D. Manalang, E. Baca, and B. Polagye, "Cost-optimal wave-powered persistent oceanographic observation," Renewable Energy, 181, 504-521, doi:10.1016/j.renene.2021.08.127, 2022.

More Info

1 Jan 2022

Historically, energy constraints have limited the spatial range, endurance and capabilities of ocean observation systems. Recently developed wave energy conversion technologies have the potential to help overcome these limitations by providing co-located and persistent power generation for ocean observations, enabling new opportunities for ocean research. In this paper, we develop the first techno-economic model for wave-powered ocean observation systems and use the model to study system characteristics and cost drivers. Our model utilizes time-domain simulation and optimization to identify cost-optimal system characteristics and to estimate capital and operational costs. Using our model, we evaluate the use of wave energy to power a 200 W ocean observation system deployed for five years at five unique geographic locations. We found that, depending on the geographic location, cost-optimal wave energy powered systems require an ≈ 0.5–3 kW wave energy converter and an ≈ 15–50 kWh battery. The corresponding range of power system costs over the deployment duration is between $110,800 and $673,200. We build on these results by performing a sensitivity analysis of key model parameters and identifying the potential economic impact of future technology advancements. Overall, our results indicate that characteristics of the geographic location, power system durability, and electrical power demand are key drivers of power system economics for ocean observing.

Variability of natural methane bubble release at Southern Hydrate Ridge

Marcon, Y., D. Kelley, B. Thornton, D. Manalang, and G. Bohrmann, "Variability of natural methane bubble release at Southern Hydrate Ridge," Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst., 22, doi:10.1029/2021GC009894, 2021.

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1 Oct 2021

Current estimations of seabed methane release into the ocean (0.4–48 Tg yr-1) are based on short-term observations and implicitly assume that fluxes are constant over time. However, the intensity of gas seepage varies significantly throughout a seep lifetime. We used instruments operated by the Ocean Observatories Initiative's Regional Cabled Array to monitor variations of gas emissions over the entire Southern Hydrate Ridge summit. We show that bubble plumes emanate from distinct and persistent vents. Multiple plumes can occur within each vent and the location of their outlets may shift progressively. Active bubble plumes vary temporally in number and intensity, even within single vents. Gas emission fluctuations are partly periodic and linked to the local tide. However, short-term variability and high ebullition events unrelated to tidal cycles are also commonly observed. Our data indicate that small-scale processes beneath or at the sediment surface are responsible for the short-term variability of the venting activity that is otherwise modulated by tides. Furthermore, a decrease of venting at one vent may coincide with an increase in plume activity at other vents. Our results depict a spatially and temporally dynamic seep environment, the variability of which cannot be fully characterized without systematic and comprehensive monitoring of the entire area. These results indicate that flux estimations may be largely overestimated or underestimated depending on the time, duration, and place of observation. Although sudden ebullition bursts are hardly predictable, we argue that tidal cycles must be taken into consideration when estimating gas fluxes.

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In The News

New UW-authored children's book offers a robot's-eye view of the deep ocean

UW News, Hannah Hickey

After years working on a cabled observatory that monitors the Pacific Northwest seafloor and water above, APL-UW engineer Dana Manalang decided to share the wonder of the deep sea with younger audiences.

12 Oct 2018

New deep-sea pressure sensor could monitor dangerous undersea faults

IEEE Spectrum, Amy Nordrum

A marine geophysicist and electronic engineer from the University of Washington are now testing a new self-calibrating pressure sensor that could be deployed on the seafloor as a low-cost, long-term way to monitor seismic activity.

12 Oct 2017

Hacking a pressure sensor to track gradual motion along marine faults

UW News, Hannah Hickey

Engineers at the UW Applied Physics Laboratory modified an existing Paros pressure sensor. The sensitive quartz crystal that measures the seafloor pressure can now be connected to measure pressure inside its titanium instrument case, with a known pressure and another barometer to check the value.

21 Sep 2017

More News Items


Self-calibrating Seafloor Pressure Measurement System with Increased Operational Life and Improved Reliability

Record of Invention Number: 48583

Geoff Cram, Mike Harrington, Dana Manalang, James Tilley


22 Mar 2019

Acoustics Air-Sea Interaction & Remote Sensing Center for Environmental & Information Systems Center for Industrial & Medical Ultrasound Electronic & Photonic Systems Ocean Engineering Ocean Physics Polar Science Center