SIO Pier
GDP Array as of 2018-09-11
red = SVP, sst only; blue = SVP-B, sst + slp



The Lagrangian Drifter Laboratory (LDL)™ is located at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

LDL Mission

  • Innovate and advance surface Lagrangian Drifter technology
  • Fabricate and acquire the drifters needed to maintain the Global Drifter Program array (over 900 drifter/year)
  • Manage the real-time delivery of the drifter data through the Iridium satellite network
  • Post the drifter data in real-time to the Global Telecommunication System (GTS)
  • Provide enhanced drifter datasets to the scientific community
  • Scientific analysis and interpretation of the drifter data
  • Maintain an array of Hurricane drifters designed to be air-deployed in front of storms to augment the existing barometer drifter array

About the Global Drifter Program

The Global Drifter Program (GDP) is a NOAA funded program that supports an array in excess of 1,250 surface Lagrangian drifters and is the largest component of the Global Surface Drifting Buoy Array, a branch of NOAA's Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS). The GDP is also a scientific project of the Data Buoy Cooperation Panel (DBCP). The DBCP is an international program coordinating the use of autonomous data buoys to observe atmospheric and oceanographic conditions over ocean areas where few other measurements are taken. The DBCP was formed in 1985 as a joint body of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The DBCP represents the data buoy component of the Joint WMO-IOC Technical Commission for Oceanography and Marine Meteorology (JCOMM).

The Objectives of the GDP

  1. Maintain an ocean-observing network of 1250 Lagrangian drifters with a nominal resolution of 5°X5° that collects and transmits measurements, mainly through the Iridium satellite systems, of meteo-marine variables including sea surface ocean velocity (SSV, 15 m depth), sea surface temperature (SST), sea surface salinity (SSS), sea-level atmospheric pressure (SLP), sea-level winds (SLW), directional wave spectra (DWS) and subsurface temperature (Tz)
  2. Provide a data processing system for the scientific use of the drifter data.