JCOMM in situ Observing Platform Support Centre (OceanOPS)

Marine observations from in situ observing systems are paramount for generating good quality ocean products, such as ocean models. In situ observations can complement and provide a comparison point for other methods of observing the ocean. Observing systems need to meet the requirements set for ocean information products, therefore good international coordination is necessary to support all actors involved.

The JCOMM in situ Observing Platform Support Centre (OceanOPS, formerly JCOMMOPS) was established by the Joint WMO-IOC Technical Commission for Oceanography and Marine Meteorology (JCOMM) in 2001 based upon coordination facilities provided by the Data Buoy Cooperation Panel (including drifting and moored buoys), the Ship Observations Team (SOOP - XBT, TSG. ASAP - Atmospheric soundings from ships. VOS - Meteorological observations from ships ) and Argo profiling float programme. Synergy was therefore realised between these three global marine observational programmes, which can assist those in charge of implementing the National components of these programmes, through an integrated and international approach.

OceanOPS provides support with programme planning, implementation, and operations, including information on

  1. observational data requirements
  2. technology, instrumentation, and costs
  3. operational status of observing networks (e.g. identification of data sparse area)
  4. deployment opportunities (by ship and air).

It maintains information on relevant data requirements for observations in support of GOOS, GCOS and the World Weather Watch of WMO as defined by the appropriate international scientific panels and JCOMM Expert Teams and Groups and routinely provides information on the functional status of the observing system. It also encourages platform operators to share data and distribute it in real-time and gives technical assistance with satellite data acquisition, automatic data processing and Global Telecommunication System (GTS) distribution of the data. OceanOPS also provides a mechanism for relaying quality information from data centres and users worldwide, back to national platform operators.

OceanOPS acts as a focal point for implementation and operation of relevant observing platforms. The centre, which is located in Toulouse of France, is funded through voluntary contributions from Member States participating in the marine observing programme and panels such as DBCP and Argo. More detailed information on OceanOPS and its products can be obtained here.

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