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Proceedings of OceanObs'09: Sustained Ocean Observations and Information for Society

COMMUNITY WHITE PAPER10.5270/OceanObs09.cwp.47

Data Management System for Surface Drifters

Robert Keeley(1), Mayra Pazos(2), Bruce Bradshaw(1)

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The large scale deployment of surface drifters has its origins in the FGGE programme in the late 1970s. Over the course of the next 25 years, surface drifters have become routinely used in all oceans so that now there are more than 1250 operating. The data management systems to handle the data returned from these platforms started with FGGE and have evolved. The main difference between the early years and now from a data system perspective is the volume and timeliness of reporting the data, though more variables are also being measured. Presently there are more than 1 million records reported in real-time and such high volumes are straining processing systems that were originally set up for fewer records and manual scrutiny of the data. The future system will need more sophisticated algorithms for automatic detection of possible errors and these must be developed in cooperation with the scientific and instrument communities. Data must move more quickly through the processing streams and become available to users. Despite the large volumes, there is high demand for on-line access to the entire archive. Strategies must be developed to meet this demand without large data requests swamping data servers. Part of this will involve providing data browse and selection tools that permit a user to refine their request to only the data of interest. Finally, there is an increasing need to use data from different sources to examine a variety of scientific and societal problems. Standard vocabularies for naming variables, instruments, methods, etc., must become widely used to allow easier interoperability of data.

1Integrated Science Data Management, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Government of Canada, 200 Kent Street K1A 0E6 Ottawa (CA)
2National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, 4301 Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami, FL 33149, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to E-mail: robert.keeley@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

This paper shall be cited as:

Keeley, R., Pazos, M. and Bradshaw, B., (2010). "Data Management System for Surface Drifters" in Proceedings of OceanObs’09: Sustained Ocean Observations and Information for Society (Vol. 2), Venice, Italy, 21-25 September 2009, Hall, J., Harrison, D.E. & Stammer, D., Eds., ESA Publication WPP-306, doi:10.5270/OceanObs09.cwp.47

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