NOAA Marine Operations

NOAA is celebrating 200 years of science, service, and stewardship. Visit the NOAA 200th Celebration Web Site to see how our ships have greatly contributed to this 200-year legacy.

Shipboard Environmental
Data Acquisition System

The Shipboard Environmental Data Acquisition System (SEAS) is a program developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to provide accurate meteorological and oceanographic data in real time from ships at sea through the use of satellite data transmission techniques. The system transmits data through the INMARSAT C satellites to NOAA.

Meteorological observations made onboard merchant vessels of the NOAA voluntary observing ships (VOS) program, when transmitted to shore in real-time, are a substantial component of global weather forecasting and climate studies. SEAS equipped vessels are an essential part of the NOAA VOS program and provide as many as 80,000 observations per year. SEAS records weather information in the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) MET transmission format (BBXX) and transmits it in real-time via satellite.

All of NOAA's research ships carry SEAS equipment, with the exception of the two small Class 5 vessels (COBB and RUDE). Most of NOAA's ships submit at least one SEAS report a day and some submit up to eight reports a day (one every three hours).

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•  Updated: December 30, 2002