Ocean observation has evolved tremendously, from collection and exchange of weather and sea state information by ocean going ships in the late 19th century to today’s multisensor, multi-platform, multi-disciplinary, large scale observation networks. Data are now transmitted and disseminated automatically in real-time to a variety of user groups with significant social and economical implications. This paper provides an overview of representative advances in in-situ ocean observation during the past decade. Major driving forces and representative advances and trends in in-situ observation are described. Advances are discussed under the categories of observation infrastructure and major measurement system components including sensor, platform, data collection and telemetry, and power supply. The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is a major participant of the global ocean observation programs and examples of its contributions and activities are introduced.

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