ESSO - Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services

(An Autonomous Body under the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Govt. of India)


The global drifter program is a global array of ocean surface drifters, which typically provide measurements of sea surface temperature, surface velocity and other parameters. Drifting buoy data includes the buoy position, date, time and in many cases includes other variables such as surface and subsurface water temperature, air pressure, air temperature, wind speed and wind direction. MEDS is the world data center for drifting buoys (Responsible National Oceanographic Data Centre - RNODC). As part of its role, MEDS acquires, processes, quality controls and archives real-time drifting buoy messages reporting over the Global Telecommunications System (GTS) as well as delayed mode data acquired from other sources. Over 200,000 new records are captured monthly from the GTS.
The website is at:

Data are also available at the Global Drifter Program (GDP) Data Assembly Center (DAC). The primary goal of the DAC is to assemble and provide uniform quality control of sea surface temperature (SST) and surface velocity measurements. These measurements are obtained as part of an international program designed to make these data available in an effort to improve climate prediction. Climate prediction models require accurate estimates of SST to initialize their ocean component. Drifting buoys provide essential ground truth SST data for this purpose. The models also require validation by comparison with independent data sets. Surface velocity measurements are used for this validation. Quality control procedures are described at the website.
The GDP DAC website is at:

INCOIS acquires the data from the drifting buoys deployed by India in the Indian Ocean. The program is implemented by INCOIS through the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO). NIO acquires the drifting buoy data in real time and after quality control (following the guidelines of DBCP/WMO-IOC), sends the data to INCOIS in the standard data formats. Web interface has already been developed at NIO for online retrieval of data and data products and is being implemented on the INCOIS website soon. INCOIS plans to may be followed for receive drifting buoy data from the DACs in the future.