Supplement to: Ocean Climate Observations and Analyses ORS Buoy Logger Iridium Upgrade

Robert Weller and Albert Plueddemann, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution 


The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) Ocean Reference Station (ORS) project is

carried out to provide critical, sustained observations of a key region of the ocean – the trade

wind region that covers roughly 50% of the ocean surface in a wide belt spanning the equator.

To provide continuous, climate-quality observing of the trade region, we have developed surface

moorings with the capability of making sustained, accurate observations at the sea surface and in

the water column, and have chosen ad occupied three key trade wind sites. The Stratus ORS at

20°S, 85°W is one of the three sites maintained by WHOI.

To date, the WHOI ORS have relied on satellite data telemetry via Service ARGOS. In part, this

was due to the favorable cost of using ARGOS resulting from negotiations between NOAA and

the service provider. Now, NOAA, as part of a broader conversion of ocean observing platforms

from ARGOS to Iridium, has negotiated a favorable rate for use of Iridium for satellite data

telemetry. This supplement seeks funding to convert the existing WHOI ORS satellite data

telemetry systems from Service ARGOS to Iridium.

This conversion has a number of benefits. First, a greater volume of data can be transferred.

Second, the radio frequency used by Iridium transmitters does not cause as much interference

in our buoy systems as does that used by ARGOS. Third, Iridium supports two-way

communication, thus allowing remote trouble-shooting and management of the systems on the