Ship Observations Team (SOT)

Terms of Reference

(As approved by JCOMM-5, on the basis of excerpt of annex to Resolution 12.2/2 (JCOMM-5))

The Ship Observations Team shall:

(a) Respond to requirements for ship-based observational data (metadata) expressed by relevant international programmes and/or systems in support of marine services, and coordinate actions to implement and maintain the networks to satisfy these requirements;

(b) Provide continuing assessment of the extent to which those requirements are being met;

(c) Oversee and monitor the implementation of methodologies as determined by the scientific and operational communities for constantly controlling and improving the quality of data;

(d) 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;

(e) Coordinate Port Meteorological Officer (PMO) operations globally, propose actions to enhance PMO standards and operations, and organize PMO and observers training, and greater PMO collaboration;

(f) Review, maintain and update as necessary technical guidance material relating to ship observations and PMOs;

(g) Liaise and coordinate as necessary with JCOMM Programme Areas and expert teams, relevant Technical Commissions , executive bodies, working groups, and Global Climate Observing System (GCOS), Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS), as well as with other interested parties, such as the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and other relevant international organizations;

(h) Participate in the planning activities of the appropriate observing system experiments and major international research programmes as the specialist group on meteorological and oceanographic observations based on board ships;

(i) Seek new opportunities for deploying and/or recovering various kinds of measuring devices as recommended by the relevant panels and widely publicise those opportunities;

(j) Develop as necessary new pilot projects and/or operational activities and establish new specialized panels as required;

(k) Carry out outreach, capacity development and other activities as agreed by participating Members/Member States to implement and operate the SOT programme and to promote and expand it internationally, seek collection of third party data from ships, and collaborate with the industry in the view to enhance the collection of data from ships;

(l) Develop improved real-time feedback to volunteer ships regarding the quantity and quality of the observations that they submit and that are inserted on the GTS;

(m) SOT may establish an Executive Board to execute SOT business during SOT intersessional period;

(n) Assist IHO in its mission to collect bathymetric data.


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