MERCATOR OCEAN-Operational Oceanography, France

Data Center Description
The Public Interest Group (GIP) Mercator Ocean was founded in April 2002 with a
brief from its six member organisations (CNES, Ifremer, IRD, Meteo-France,
CNRS, SHOM) to set up an operational system for describing the state of the
ocean, an integral part of our environment, at any given time and at any place
on our blue planet.

Input for the Mercator system comes from ocean observations measured by
satellites or in situ observations through measurements taken at sea. These
measurements are "ingested" (assimilated) by the analysis and forecasting
model. The assimilation of observation data in a model is used to describe and
forecast the state of the ocean for up to 14 days ahead of time.

The project mission was thus defined in 1995 to meet a threefold objective:

* Develop an operational oceanography system
* Enable the development of applications by distributing its products
* Contribute to success of the international Godae experiment along with
the Jason (altimetry observation) and Coriolis (in situ observations)
programmes. Together with the Jason (satellite observations) program and
Coriolis (in situ observations), Mercator (modelisation and assimilation)
is the french contribution to Godae (Global Ocean Data Assimilation
Experiment), first international experiment of operational oceanography.

The intensive phase of Godae is taking place between 2003 and 2005 with the
rise of several centers around the world able to supply real-time global ocean
nowcasting and forecasting data. Mercator must be one of them.


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