The Global Buoy Network
Relationships to other networks
The DBCP network is just one of the observing networks which make up the Global Ocean Observing System, implemented under JCOMM. The maintenance and expansion of the DBCP network is done within the context of the other networks and requirements for the integrated system. see JCOMM Network Status ».
How many buoys are needed?
DBCP monthly map products are available to visualise the buoy network as:
- PNG images
- High resolution PDF files (with layers to toggle data on and off)
Interactive Viewers to zoom in/out and query data:
- Google Earth files (kml)
- Web Map viewer
JCOMMOPS » provides similar map products for all of the observing networks it maintains.
Network Status Lists:
- List of active platforms (sorted by WMO ID)
- Growth in the buoy network since 2001 (.csv)
including drifting buoys, barometer buoys and moored buoys.
Graphs and Charts:
Maintaining and expanding the network.
Whilst the DBCP network of over 1250 drifting buoys and 400 moored buoys was completed in 2005, there are still ongoing challenges in sustaining and improving the network. These are detailed in the
DBCP implementation strategy.
Examples of ongoing challenges are:
The measurement of Air Pressure is important for the weather forecasting, so the DBCP aims to have air pressure measurements, using a Barometer Port, on as many buoys as possible. focusing on high latitudes and remote ocean areas. An upgrade scheme was introduced to encourage the addition of barometers on drifters.
Deployment opportunities and even dispersion
The buoy network is, in reality, not evenly dispersed across the whole ocean, due to difficulties in deploying buoys in very remote areas (especially the southern ocean) and because the buoys, following currents, drift out of some areas quickly or converge in other areas. This is a major challenge for the DBCP. See more information about Deployment opportunities.
The DBCP has an ongoing program of developing and testing new sensors and uses for drifting buoys. More detail is available on the Data Uses page.