Global Drifter Program (GDP)

The GOOS Center presently operates a global Drifting Buoy Center that annually deploys, via the Voluntary Observing Ship (VOS) Program, research vessels and U.S. Navy aircraft, over 400 Drifters in all three ocean basins. These drifters are tracked daily via the ARGOS satellite system where their positions and sea surface temperatures (and sometimes other parameters) are processed and inserted on to the Global Telecommunications System (GTS) for global distribution. Approximately 630,000 sea surface temperatures are collected annually via this program. Additionally, the GOOS Center performs the added function of a Data Acquisition Center (DAC) for the Global Drifter Program (GDP). When the deployed Drifters are verified as operational they are reported to the DAC. This effort insures that research quality Drifter data is available from other organizations and countries programs. The Global Drifter Program is a participating member of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) - World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Data Buoy Co-operation Panel (DBCP) and as such represents NOAA in this international forum.

Voluntary Observing Ship (VOS) Program

The GOOS Center presently operates a global fleet of about 400 domestic and foreign commercial vessels. The GOOS global fleet mostly represents a subset of the larger National Weather Service VOS fleet consisting of over 1500 vessels. These vessels voluntarily collect Sea Surface Meteorological, Sub Surface Expendable Bathythermograph, Shipboard Thermosalinograph or atmospheric observations; they deploy Drifting Buoys and highly instrumented P-ALACE type floats and sometimes tow Continuous Plankton Recorders. The GOOS global VOS fleet is the mechanism used to collect observations and deploy instrumentation that transmit, in real-time, data to National Centers such as the National Center for Environmental Prediction. In any given year this network provides the following approximate number of observations:

630,000 Sea Surface Temperature Observations from Drifting Buoys
110,000 Meteorological Observations
30,000 Thermosalinograph Observations
15,000 Expendable Bathythermograph Observations

Expendable Bathythermograph (XBT) Program

The GOOS Center operates a global XBT Program that utilizes approximately 70 Voluntary Observing Ships (VOS) to monitor, on a monthly basis, 26 transects in all three ocean basins (see GOOS network plot). The GOOS Center utilizes Shipboard Environmental data Acquisition Systems (SEAS) hardware/software to collect, quality control and transmit in real-time subsurface oceanographic observations (about 15,000 per year) and sea surface meteorological observations (about 110,000 per year). The XBT is an expendable temperature probe that is manually launched from the bridge wings of commercial vessels approximately 4 times per day, along certain scientifically selected shipping lanes. The data transmitted via the wire link from the XBT probe is stored on the SEAS computer where it is processed and formatted for satellite message transmission. The transmitted data is routed to the GOOS Center where it is further quality controlled and then inserted on to the Global Telecommunication System (GTS) for global distribution. The National Center for Environmental Predication (NCEP) uses this data for weather and climate forecasting as well as for seasonal, interannual and decadel climate research. The XBT program is a participating member of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) - World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Ship of Opportunity Program Implementation Panel (SOOPIP) and as such represents NOAA in this international forum.

High Density Expendable Bathythermograph (XBT) Program

Certain regions of the oceans require more observations than a volunteer ship\'s crew can adequately supply. Along these routes, scientific crew, ride the VOS and sample the ocean with much higher spatial resolution. These high density lines (HDX) resolve ocean features with more detail than the standard low density (LDX) sampling scheme. AOML runs five HDX lines with the following objectives. To measure the upper ocean thermal structure in the center of the subtropical gyre in the North Atlantic (AX7), and the South Atlantic (AX18) and (AX25), to investigate the meridional structure at the subtropical gyre and Gulf Stream in the North Atlantic (AX10), to characterize both the mean and the time-dependent upper ocean properties of the tropical portion of the Meridional Overturning Circulation and of the shallow Subtropical Cell in the Tropical Atlantic (AX8).

ARGO Profiling Floats

The Physical Oceanography Division provides the data management and realtime quality control of profiling float data from the global ARGO program.

'; template_index($title,$main,$content); ?>