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Terms of reference of the JCOMM Ship Observations Team

(Annex to Resolution 3 (JCOMM-II))

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 observer 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 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.

Terms of reference of component panels

SOOP Implementation Panel

  1. Review, recommend and, as necessary, coordinate the implementation of specialized shipboard instrumentation and observing practices dedicated to temperature and salinity measurements;
  2. Coordinate the exchange of technical information on relevant oceanographic equipment and expendables, development, functionality, reliability and accuracy, and survey new developments in instrumentation technology and recommended practices;
  3. Ensure the distribution of available programme resources to ships to meet the agreed sampling strategy in the most efficient way;
  4. Ensure the transmission of data in real-time from participating ships; ensure that delayed mode data are checked and distributed in a timely manner to data processing centres;
  5. Maintain, through the SOOP Coordinator, appropriate inventories, monitoring reports and analyses, performance indicators and information exchange facilities;
  6. Provide guidance to the Coordinator in his support for the SOOP;
  7. Prepare annually a report on the status of SOOP operations, data availability and data quality.

Ad hoc ASAP Panel

(The following terms of reference may be assumed by one of the other panels during the intersession.)

  1. Coordinate the overall implementation of the ASAP, including recommending routes and monitoring the overall performance of the programme, both operationally and in respect of the quality of the ASAP system data-processing;
  2. As may be required by some members, arrange for and use, funds and contributions in kind needed for the procurement, implementation and operation of ASAP systems and for the promotion and expansion of the programme;
  3. Coordinate the exchange of technical information on relevant meteorological equipment and expendables, development, functionality, reliability and accuracy, and survey new developments in instrumentation technology and recommended practices;
  4. Prepare annually a report on the status of ASAP operations, data availability and data quality.

VOS Panel

  1. Review, recommend and coordinate the implementation of new and improved specialized shipboard meteorological instrumentation, sitting and observing practices, as well as of associated software;
  2. Support the development and maintenance of pilot projects such as the VOSClim Project;
  3. Develop and implement activities to enhance ship recruitment, including promotional brochures, training videos, etc.;
  4. Prepare annually a report on the status of VOS operations, data availability and data quality.

General membership

  • Chairperson, selected by the Commission.
  • Chairpersons of the SOOPIP, VOS and ASAP Panels.
  • Open membership, comprising operators of VOS, SOOP and ASAP, representatives of monitoring centres, data management centres and bodies, representatives of IMSO and other communications satellite systems, representatives of manufacturers, representatives of science advisory bodies and users, as appropriate.
  • JCOMMOPS will participate in the work and the meetings of the Ship Observations Team.





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