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Iridium Pilot Project

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Findings - Progress

  • Current Transmission format for SVP-B - Updated January 2013.
    • Latest Version - Recommended Iridium SBD dataformats for buoys (P. Blouch, 01/2013): Recommended Iridium SBD dataformats
      This document describes a list of dataformats which should be used to report buoy observations through Iridium SBD. These dataformats are the results of experiences learned during the DBCP Iridium Pilot Project.
    • All formats include in a single file (old - 2009): All SVPB formats
      These formats are recommended for all SVPBs (with or without GPS) manufactured post December 2009.
  • May 2010 saw a milestone for the project in terms of life times - the two-year anniversary of operations for Iridium SVP-B drifter IMEI 300034012620430 (WMO 56550) owned by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and deployed in the Indian Ocean on May 11th, 2008. Data are reported onto the GTS by Meteo-France.
  • Previous Transmission format for SVP-B - Updated January 2010.
    • January 2010 Version for SVP-Bs with GPS and for SVPBs without GPS is available.
      The version numbering has recommenced at v000 as the format number will now appear in the message, so this update is significantly different from other updates.
      This format is recommended for all SVPBs (with or without GPS) manufactured post December 2009.
  • New Iridium Processing via Joubeh, including distribution on the GTS.
    • A press release is available with information about the services offered here
    • See more detail here
  • Transmission formats
  • A fully operational Iridium Processing Centre has been developed at CLS -
    It uses much of the processing functions of the Argos System and as a result, drifters transmitting through Iridium can now benefit from the entire Argos processing capabilities including the GTS processing and quality control. This system accommodates Iridium SBD data either through direct IP connection with the Iridium gateway or via email. A dedicated email address should be used to make contact with CLS about this function.
  • Old Transmission Format V3.2 superseded February 2009 Iridium transmission format (version 3.2) » used by Météo France SVP-B prototype drifters (updated August 2007 and superseded by V4.0)

    Note: The original (version 2) Iridium transmission format (now superseded by version 3.2) as previously used by Météo France SVP-B prototype drifters can be found in Annex D of the Whitepaper.

  • Meteo France has set up a (non-operational) GTS dissemination system to support Iridium Buoy usage. All pilot project Iridium Buoys should be set up to email two addresses (Please contact us » for the exact email addresses):
    cmm-vos email address which is managed by Meteo France (to facilitate the GTS transmission) and
    dbcpiridium Gmail address (to allow all pilot project participants to view SBD messages)
  • Meteo France's Iridium Buoys have been reporting Iridium locations instead of GPS locations since the end of July and this is working perfectly. There appears to be no difference in the comparisons with model outputs. The accuracy of these positions is sufficient for meteorological purposes.

  • Iridium upgrade Scheme: The best way for the project to proceed is to allow inexpensive access to Iridium Buoys. See the Chair's letter: Iridium Upgrade Opportunity ».

Timeliness - Data Distribution onto the GTS

Delays analysis, January 2008 » - Comparison by Meteo France between Iridium and Argos buoys in several ocean basins

Quality evaluations

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