Data Buoy
Cooperation Panel

Iridium Pilot Project

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Testing Iridium Satellite Telecommunications for Drifting Buoys

Aims of the Pilot Project

At its twenty-second session, La Jolla, USA, 16-20 October 2006, the Data Buoy Cooperation Panel (DBCP) agreed to actively pursue technology evaluation initiatives. Various proposals for additional activities had been proposed and approved in principle during the session including the Iridium Pilot Project.

The "DBCP drifter Iridium Pilot Project", approved by the DBCP Executive Board, will run for a period of two years as of November 2006.

The pilot project is particularly timely in view of developments in data formats, the ways in which the WMO proposes to handle its future information requirements (e.g. WMO Information System) and that many Panel members are already active with Iridium. In addition, the use of GPS for location purposes could provide more precise timing of observations for future observational requirements.

The Pilot Project will seek to evaluate the feasibility of Iridium technology for real-time telecommunication of drifter data under various conditions.

Detailed goals of the pilot project are contained in the whitepaper prepared by WMO entitled "DBCP DRIFTER IRIDIUM PILOT PROJECT" see the Documents page. The paper establishes the project's Terms of Reference and its Steering Team.

It will form a pilot study for technology evaluation and assessment of satellite communication options with Iridium.