The Low Density XBT Network is aimed at determining the monthly to interannual variability in the large-scale upper ocean heat content. Implementation of the network is constrained by the participation of volunteer observing ships (VOS). Crews in the VOS program make meteorological and upper ocean measurements during their regular watches. Much of this data is transmitted in real time by the Shipboard Environmental data Aquisition System (SEAS) through either the GOES or INMARSAT C satellites to NOAA for use in weather, climatological and ocean models. In addition, all of the data are downloaded from the VOS upon arrival in port for delayed-mode distribution to international data centers and the research community.

NOAA, through the UOTC, is actively participating in an international effort to increase the number of subsurface temperature observations in support of global oceanographic and climate studies. NOAA\'s XBT program (SEAS) currently supports about eighty voluntary observing ships (VOS).
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