The work of the SOT consists of several very successful and enduring data collection programmes (over 100 years), involving voluntary observing ships and ships of opportunity operated through the VOS and SOOPIP.
The individual programmes presently support research, climate forecasting, numerical weather prediction and maritime safety services amongst other applications. The requirements for ocean state estimation applications are rapidly growing. Variables measured basically include surface meteorological observations, plus sub-sets for upper air meteorological and upper ocean physical data. The sampling rationale for these variables has been set via the various scientific advisory groups and Climate related panels
Click here to access an interactive map of SOT operational platforms' latest location.