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Improved Meteorological Packages (IMET)

General Information

Exchanges of heat, gas and water across the air-sea interface couple the ocean and atmosphere in a dynamic system that creates and drives the planet's global climate. To understand this system's role in climate change, scientists have designed an array of buoy-based sensors that measure sea surface temperature, air temperature, wind speed and direction, barometric pressure, solar and long-wave radiation, humidity, precipitation, and levels of aerosols such as ozone. These measurements permit increasingly accurate estimates of air-sea fluxes. The sensor packages include the capability to telemeter some data on a regular basis via satellite to a central data facility

Technical Information

Can measure a variety of meteorological parameters
Very accurate

Complex to operate
Heavy to transport

Data Produced:

  • Sea surface temperature
  • Air temperature
  • Wind speed/direction
  • Barometric pressure
  • Solar radiation
  • Long-wave radiation
  • Humidity
  • Precipitation
  • Aerosol levels

Further Information

Introduction modified from: University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS), The Research Fleet, edited by Vicky Cullen, 2000.

WHOI DGE (IMET systems) Documentation, maintained by Geoff Allsup, Woods Hole, MA, 2002. (

Jeff Lord and Sean Whelan from the WHOI Upper Ocean Processes Group boarded the Indian research vessel Saga Nidhi to deploy a buoy in the Bay of Bengal equipped with an Air-Sea Interaction Meteorology (ASIMET) system. The instruments on the buoy will track the transfer of heat, water, and momentum between the ocean and atmosphere in an effort to understand the factors that influence the Indian monsoon, a seasonal precipitation pattern that delivers much of the subcontinent's annual rainfall. (Photo by Sean Whelan, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
George Meier working on IMET equipment. (Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)