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January 2013

Self-Locating Datum Marker Buoys


United States Coast Guard


Self-Locating Datum Marker Buoys (SLDMBs) are oceanographic surface drifting buoys that are ship or air deployable. The United States Coast Guard (USCG) deploys approximately 500-600 SLDMBs annually for its Search and Rescue (SAR) operations. Service Argos receives and stores SLDMB data which is collected via web services by the SLDMB system. SLDMB positional data is used to estimate the movement of a search object within a search area.  Historical data is stored and can be used to determine ocean currents. It is available through the USCG SLDMB website.

The SLDMB data is used for SAR planning, and other missions like law enforcement, Marine safety, and environmental protection such as the response to the Deepwater Horizon incident. The data is also used for oceanographic scientific research into ocean current trends, as well as to validate ocean current forecast models.


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