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The WIGOS Pilot Project for Marine Observations (now completed)

The Pilot Project for Marine Observations under the WMO Integrated Global Observing System (WIGOS) framework is an interdisciplinary exercise seeking the integration of in-situ and space based ocean observing systems. These will be implemented and sustained by the WMO and IOC Members through JCOMM in order to make appropriate data sets available in real-time and delayed mode to WMO and IOC applications through interoperability arrangements with the WMO Information System (WIS) and the IOC Ocean Data Portal (ODP). The data sets will be produced according to agreed upon standards and the quality control procedures documented according to QMS principles. This integration will enhance the coherence and consistency of the data sets and the availability of relevant instrument/platform metadata. More timely and better quality data will be expected while duplicates will be minimized.

In line with the WIGOS Concept of Operations (CONOPS), the Pilot Project includes three major components:

  1. Document and integrate instrument best practices and related standards. The goal is to define and agree on common standards between the meteorological (WMO) and oceanographic (IOC) communities for instruments and methods of observation as well as subsequent organization and handling of the data and information to serve consistent and better quality data to both the broad user and modelling communities. As a result of the Pilt Project recommendations, the third Session of JCOMM (Marrakech, Morocco, 4-11 Nov 2009) adopted Recommendation 1, establishement of WMO-IOC Regional Marine Instrument Centres (RMICs).

  2. Build marine data systems that are interoperable with the WIS. The goal is to provide access to marine meteorological and oceanographic data and information to serve a number of applications, including climate. This shall be done in an integrated way via the WIS or the IOC/IODE Ocean Data Portal (ODP) and thereby facilitating access to well documented and standardized data. Much work remains to develop interoperability between the WMO and IOC communities at both the data discovery (metadata) and data level (compatible formats). The Pilot Project will address these two aspects.

  3. Promote Quality Management and standards. The goal is to coordinate the development of cost-effective Quality Management Systems by Members and to propose practical solutions or examples. At different steps of the data production line, it is expected that improved quality management will result in better, timelier data, minimized duplication, and an operational data delivery system. This will be achieved through the compilation of regulatory documentation in a way consistent with the eight Quality Management Principles developed under ISO/TC176/SC2/WG15 (User/customers focus, Leadership, Involvement of people, Process approach, System approach to management, Continual improvements, Factual approach for decision making, Mutually beneficial supplier relationships). The IODE-JCOMM Standards process will also provide a framework for the Pilot Project to further the development of appropriate widely accepted quality management standards to address issues such as instrument best practices, real-time and delayed-mode quality control procedures (automatic and / or manual), data collection and exchange formats, and products using the observational data.

The Pilot Project is now completed and a Project Report and includes information on (i) deliverables, achievements, test of concept, and pending issues, (ii) benefits of WIGOS integration regarding oceanographic observations for NMHSs, NODCs, and ocean data users, (iii) impact of the marine observing systems integration, and use of recommended standards on the operations of NMHSs, and NODCs, (iv) lessons learned, and (v) legacy recommendations.

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