Drifting buoys

More than one hundred drifting buoys are operating in the Indian Ocean and transmit their data on the GTS (Global Telecommunication System of WMO). About 80% of them report air pressure data in addition to sea-surface temperature.

Deployments are generally carried out by research vessels and ships of opportunity plying in the Indian Ocean from many harbour from Australia, India, South Africa, Kenya and La Reunion. Some ship voyages to remote islands are useful too for deployments in the southern latitudes : Heard I. from Australia ; Amsterdam I., Kerguelen and Crozet Is. from La Reunion and Marion Is. from South Africa.

Deployments tables

Use this website to download GoogleEarth compatible files (*.kmz) : Buoys GoogleEarth maps. Once you have selected the period (daily, monthly, yearly) and the area (eventually) you can access to data and QCdata by a click on the dot of a buoy.

Moored buoys

The National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) has established the National Data Buoy Programme (NDBP), an array of moored buoys.

Building upon the tropical mooring networks of India and Japan, the CLIVAR/GOOS Indian Ocean Panel (IOP) developed a plan in 2004 for the Research Moored Array for African-Asian-Australian Monsoon Analysis and Prediction (RAMA), a new observational network designed to address outstanding scientific questions related to Indian Ocean variability and the monsoons. The plan consists of basin scale network of 46 deep ocean moorings, like TAO/TRITON and PIRATA.

Data recovery

At present most of the data are recovered through the Argos system and sent on the GTS thanks to the processing centers of Toulouse (France) and Largo (USA). Some drifting buoys use the Iridium communication system to send their data ashore.

Real time data from the Indian moored buoys operated by the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) are transmitted ashore through Inmarsat and Insat and distributed onto the GTS by the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD). Bulletin headers are SSVX01 DEMS.

Data quality control

Near real-time quality control of GTS buoy data from the programme are accomplished in the context of the quality control guidelines co-ordinated by the DBCP. Monthly statistics can be downloaded or checked for particular buoys.

Other buoy data quality control and archival activities are relevant to the programme, in particular those of the Global Drifter Data Assembly Center operated by AOML/NOAA in Miami.

Last revised : February 15th, 2017