Terms of Reference

Ship Observations Team (SOT)

The work of the SOT consists of several very successful and enduring data collection programmes (over 100 years), involving voluntary observing ships and ships of opportunity operated through the VOS and SOOPIP.

The individual programmes presently support research, climate forecasting, numerical weather prediction and maritime safety services amongst other applications. The requirements for ocean state estimation applications are rapidly growing. Variables measured basically include surface meteorological observations, plus sub-sets for upper air meteorological and upper ocean physical data. The sampling rationale for these variables has been set via the various scientific advisory groups and Climate related panels

Acces to recent maps via Webviever and to documents on the FTP-Server

Meetings: The last meetings of the SOT are documented here: SOT-6 and SOT-7

SOT Programmes:

The Voluntary Observing Ship Scheme

Recording Surface meteorological observations from almost 4000 ships worldwide.

  • VOS: http://www.bom.gov.au/jcomm/vos/
  • VOS Terms of Reference
  • VOS Ship Metadata: Look up ship details in the JCOMMOPS SHIP database from WMO Publication 47.
  • Quality Control Information

    VOS Sub-programmes:

  • The Automated Shipboard Aerological Programme

    Atmospheric profiles using radiosondes from about 20 ships.

  • VOS Ancillary Pilot Project

  • The Ship Of Opportunity Programme

    Recording Upper Ocean Thermal oceanographic data (from XBTs, XCTDs, TSGs) from about 100 ships worldwide.

  • SOOP Homepage (draft)
  • Metadata transmission form
  • SOOPIP Terms of Reference
  • SOT resources:

    SOT Terms of Reference:

    The challenge for SOT is to maintain, coordinate, and integrate its programmes to support the range of presently defined operational and research applications, by meeting common scientific goals to an agreed level of performance.

    The Ship Observations Team shall:

    1. Review and analyze requirements for ship-based observational data expressed by relevant existing international programmes and/or systems and in support of marine services, and coordinate actions to implement and maintain the networks to satisfy these requirements;

    2. Provide continuing assessment of the extent to which those requirements are being met;

    3. Develop methodology for constantly controlling and improving the quality of data;

    4. Review marine telecommunication facilities and procedures for observational data collection, as well as technology and techniques for data processing and transmission, and propose actions as necessary for improvements and enhanced application;

    5. Coordinate PMO/ship greeting operations globally, propose actions to enhance PMO standards and operations, and contribute as required to PMO and observers training;

    6. Review, maintain and update as necessary technical guidance material relating to ship observations and PMOs;

    7. Liaise and coordinate as necessary with other JCOMM Programme Areas and expert teams, as well as with other interested parties;

    8. Participate in planning activities of appropriate observing system experiments and major international research programmes as the specialist group on observations based onboard ships, including voluntary observing ships, ships-of-opportunity and research ships;

    9. Seek for opportunities for deploying various kinds of measuring devices and widely publicize those opportunities;

    10. Develop as necessary new pilot projects and/or operational activities and establish new specialized panels as required;

    11. Carry out other activities as agreed by participating members to implement and operate the SOT programme and to promote and expand it internationally;

    Related JCOMM Panels:

    International Ocean Carbon Coordination Panel. Recording Ocean Carbon, pCO2.