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Argos DCS System Use Agreement of the Month
– October 2014

RPS MetOcean Pty Ltd
Meteorological and Oceanographic Measurement Services


MetOcean Engineers provide meteorological and oceanographic measurement services to government departments, ports & harbors, and oil & gas companies.

Government departments include the following organizations:
  –  Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM).
  –  Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO).
  –  West Australian Department of Planning and Infrastructure (DPI).
  –  Environmental Protection Agencies (EPA).
  –  West Australian Water Authority.
  –  West Australian Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS).
  –  West Australian Department of Fisheries.
  –  University of Western Australia.
  –  Murdoch University, West Australia.
  –  Curtin University of Technology, West Australia.
  –  Local Shire Councils, West Australia.
  –  Department of Conservation and Land Management (CALM).
  –  Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).
  –  Australian Oceanographic Data Centre (AODC).
  –  Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS).
  –  Antarctic Survey Division.
  –  Royal Australian Navy (RAN).
  –  Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN).
  –  Malaysian Meteorological Service (MMS).

The Argos service fulfils three important roles when undertaking measurement programs for the above organizations:
    a)  Transmission and dissemination of environmental data from oceanographic and meteorological instruments deployed in remote land and ocean-based locations.
    b)  Protection and alarm warning of surface and subsurface instrumentation in the event of mooring or equipment failure, cyclone damage, fishing interference, collision with passing vessels, vandalism and/or theft.
    c)  Tracking of drifting buoys, e.g., oil spill drifters and particle dispersion studies for local Water Authorities.

A prime example of the above would be the dissemination of met-ocean data to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) from various locations around the WA North West Shelf and other regions in Australia. There is a severe dearth of real time met-ocean data in the Southern Ocean which makes offshore weather forecasting difficult compared to other areas of the world.

Data are transmitted to the BOM on a routine basis to improve reliability of their weather forecasting and tropical cyclone warning service, primarily for safety of offshore shipping and remote coastal towns and villages. Metocean data buoys are deployed by WNI at selected sites, each carrying Argos PTTs to provide data backup and position monitoring. The latter service is important as it allows the prompt recapture and redeployment of expensive buoys in the event of b) above and hence minimizes any subsequent disruption to the data dissemination process.

Some of these buoys provide measurements all year round whilst others are deployed only during the tropical cyclone season.




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