TAO/TRITON Collaboration


The TAO array became the TAO/TRITON array on 1 January 2000. This name change recognizes the introduction of TRITON (Triangle Trans-Ocean Buoy Network) buoys in the western Pacific by the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC). TRITON buoys have replaced ATLAS buoys at 12 sites along 137°E, 147°E, and 156°E beginning in 1999 as indicated in the table below.


TRITON has been implemented in close collaboration with TAO under the auspices of CLIVAR, GOOS, and GCOS. TRITON buoys are serviced by the Japanese research vessel MIRAI. The TAO Project at NOAA / PMEL worked closely with the TRITON project at JAMSTEC to maximize consistency in sensor types and sampling schemes between TAO and TRITON buoys. TAO and TRITON buoys were also deployed side-by-side at several sites in the western Pacific for six month to one year check-out periods in 1998-99 to assure that parameters were consistently being measured by the two buoy systems. Today, JAMSTEC and NDBC are working together to assure that the TRITON buoy data are subject to free, open, and timely exchange. The combined TAO/TRITON data are managed and distributed as a unified and integrated data set by the TAO Data Download.

Status of integration of TRITON and TAO buoy data

TRITON and TAO buoy data have now been integrated into a single data set. At present, the following sites include TRITON data beginning on the date shown.
8°N, 156°E Feburary 25 1999
5°N, 156°E November 12 1999
2°N, 156°E November 11 1999
0°, 156°E November 9 1999
2°S, 156°E November 6 1999
5°S, 156°E November 5 1999
5°N, 147°E November 19 1999
2°N, 147°E Feburary 18 1999
0°, 147°E November 17 1999
8°N, 137°E** September 28 2001
5°N, 137°E September 29 2001
2°N, 138°E* October 25 1999
0°, 138°E*** October 27 1999
*TRITON buoys are deployed at 138°E whereas earlier ATLAS buoys were deployed at 137°E.
**TRITON buoy deployed at 8°N,137°E was previously an ATLAS buoy deployed at 7°N,137°E
***This site is a JAMSTEC augmentation of the TAO/TRITON array.