C-RAID improve the access to historical drifter data: Copernicus Reprocessing of Argos and Iridium Drifters (C-RAID)

C-RAID project is a global reprocessing of drifting buoys data and metadata.

The C-RAID dataset contains the metadata of 20.000 drifting buoys, deployed between 1979 and 2018. The data of 14.000 drifting buoys have been fully reprocessed and scientifically checked (delayed mode including comparison with ERA5). The project is continuing in 2023  to reprocess the remaining buoys data.

Context: The WMO DBCP Drifting Buoys GDAC (Ifremer, Meteo-France and Ocean-Canada ) is dedicated to improved quality control and delivery of drifting buoy of “climate quality”  data for the Marine Climate Data System (MCDS).

Goal: clean-up an entire data archive for the past buoys deployed & reprocess the argos data & improve argos position quality (reprocessed with Kalman filter)

Lead: The C-RAID project is funded by Copernicus through a contract with the European Environment Agency. Contract # EEA/IDM/15/026/LOT1 (For Services supporting the European Environment Agency’s (EEA) implementation of cross-cutting activities for coordination of the in-situ component of the Copernicus Programme Services).

Stakeholders: DB-GDAC, Météo-France, EUMETNET (with its E-SURFMAR program), but also builds on NOAA AOML and JCOMMOPS expertise

Challenge: reprocess/recover 22,000 years of data and make them accessible

For whom? Copernicus Climate Change Service, Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service, iQuam, ICOADS, GHRSST, ISPD, and ICDC.

C-RAID deliverables

  • An improved drifting buoy data record for years 1979-2018
  • FAIR interfaces to drifting buoys data in Ifremer GDAC:
    • Web data discovery for human users
    • API data discovery/subsetting/download services (machine-to-machine data access)

What do we mean by “Improved drifting buoy data record”:

  • Missing datasets and parts of datasets recovered (data rescue)
  • Homogeneous and rich metadata and data format
  • Improved Argos locations with Kalman filter algorithm
  • Homogeneous QC and assessment on marine and atmospheric data

Atmosphere, Physical oceanography

90N, -90S, 180E, -180W


C-RAID 2023Q1 spring delivery
23 GoNetCDFProcessed data 102039
C-RAID 2022Q3 automn delivery
28 GoNetCDFQuality controlled data
C-RAID 2022Q2 spring delivery
2 GoNetCDFQuality controlled data
Zunino Rodriguez Patricia, Rannou Jean Philippe, Poli Paul, Blanc Frédérique, Carval Thierry, Billon Christophe (2023). C-RAID improve the access to historical drifter data: Copernicus Reprocessing of Argos and Iridium Drifters (C-RAID). SEANOE. https://doi.org/10.17882/77184