This programme is designed to acquire in-situ surface, meteorological and oceanographic data on real-
time basis from the seas around India. The parameters measured under this programme are surface wind,
waves, atmospheric temperature and pressure, sea surface temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen,
hydrocarbons, nutrients, radio-activity, sea-level, etc. The state-of-the-art instruments like moored data
buoys, drifting buoys, XBTs, current meter arrays and tide gauges are deployed for measurements. In
addition, validation of the satellite data would also be undertaken using the sea truth data generated under
5.1.1 National Data Buoy Programme
Under the National Data Buoy Programme (NDBP) being implemented at NIOT twelve data
buoys have been deployed in Indian seas. These data buoys have sensors to measure wind speed and
direction, air pressure, air temperature, sea surface temperature, current speed and current direction and
wave parameters. The buoys are equipped with Global Positioning System, beacon light and satellite
transceiver. Few of these buoys are fitted with sensors to measure radioactivity, turbidity, chlorophyll,
hydrocarbons, and dissolved oxygen.
Daily data at 3GMT are being sent to India Meteorological Department (IMD) and Coast Guard.
Monthly data are being disseminated to Naval Hydrographic Office, Ports (wherever the buoys are
deployed). Data is also being supplied to National Institute of Oceanography, Centre for Atmospheric and
Oceanic Science, IISC and other Oceanographic, Research and Academic institutions against their
specific project requirements. Buoys data have played an important role in weather prediction by IMD,
particularly during the recent depression and cyclonic storm in Indian seas. In order to ensure quality
data acquisition from the sensors, NDBP carries out regular planned maintenance as well as urgent
maintenance as and when warranted by the data buoys. During this year eight re-deployment, eight
retrieval and eleven maintenance operations have been carried out.
By operationalising the National Data Buoy programme, India has enhanced its capacity in ocean
observation system and has received acclaimation from the global oceanographic community.
5.1.2 Drifting Buoys and other Observing Systems
To augment the ocean observations, the department is also implementing a programme for
deployment of other observing systems through the National Institute of Oceanography, Goa . About 48
drifting buoys will be deployed at periodical intervals over the 9th Plan period. The buoys so deployed will
generate in-situ data, as well as validate the satellite data.
During the year, fifteen drifting buoys with sensors for Sea Surface Temperature and barometric
pressure, were deployed in the Indian ocean. With this the total number of drifting buoys deployed has
gone up to twenty-four during the last two years. Four of these buoys were equipped with additional
sensors for sea surface temperature, atmospheric pressure and temperature, wind speed and direction. The
data are being transmitted via ARGOS-Satellite and made available to the Indian Meteorological
Department and National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecast (NCMRWF) on real-time basis.
5.1.3 Sea Level Observation
The Sea Level Monitoring project envisages assessment of variations in the sea level due to
climatic and other factors and impact of such variations on the Indian coastal belt. Under this project, 8
modern tide gauge stations have been established at Mumbai, Porbander, Goa, Kochi, Chennai,
Visakhapatnam, Paradip and Kavaratti and two more tide gauges will be deployed at Machilipatnam and
Tuticorin. National Tide Data Centre at Survey of India, Dehradun has analysed the data generated and
developed a numerical model to simulate ocean circulation in the Northern Indian Ocean.