16 November 2012 — one deep ocean buoy system, “Bai Long” (White Dragon), was successfully deployed in the Andaman Sea with exact location of 95°37´E, 9°36´N. This Bai Long buoy, built and provided by the First Institute of Oceanography of China, is the first real-time monitoring buoy in the Andaman Sea, providing real-time data stream of high temporal resolution to monitor the Asian Monsoon onset and its seasonal evolution.
The buoy was released from the R/V of the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC) in the mid of joint cruise between 15-18 November 2012 by scientists from the Phuket Marine Biological Center (PMBC), Thailand, and the First Institute of Oceanography (FIO), State Oceanic Administration (SOA), China.
“It indeed marks one milestone in the development of Southeast Asian Regional Ocean Observing System (SEAGOOS) to attain the goal of enhancing the observing capacity in the Andaman Sea and demonstrating the value of ocean observations for societal benefits”, said Mr Wenxi Zhu, Head of IOC Regional Office for the Western Pacific (WESTPAC), while congratulating the cruise team upon their return from the sea.
The buoy development was designed as one key activity of the WESTPAC/SEAGOOS Pilot Project “Monsoon Onset Monitoring and its Social and Ecosystem Impact” (MOMSEI), which aims to improve, from the point of view of air-sea interaction, the understanding and forecasting of Asian Monsoon onset and its multi-scale variability at regional level through the development of observations over the Andaman Sea and the analysis of the preconditioning role of ocean in the monsoon onset.
The buoy measures the sea surface meteorological parameters (air temperature, pressure, wind, relative humidity, longwave and shortwave radiation), as well as the ocean profiles of water temperature, salinity down to 700m depth. All the data is collected every ten minutes and is transmitted via the Iridium satellite at the interval of three hours, which is believed to be of great importance to the seasonal monsoon outlook, monsoon-related disaster prevention and mitigation, coral bleaching risk assessment.