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About Satellite Observing Systems

Satellite Observing Systems (SOS) offers unrivalled expertise in all aspects of satellite remote sensing of the marine environment. The company serves public and private sector organisations by providing:

  • Consultancy on the applications and exploitation of marine remote sensing (see Projects),
  • High quality marine statistics and climatology (see Services and Data ),
  • Real-time sea-state monitoring from space delivered to international users (see Services and Data),
  • Training programmes world-wide (see Publications).

Some of the problem areas recently tackled by SOS, including ongoing programmes, are:

  • Calibration of radar altimeters on the ERS-1, ERS-2 and ENVISAT satellites,
  • Statistical data on the occurrence of the highest wave at an offshore site or along a shipping route anywhere in the world,
  • The prevalence of oil slicks in summer off a tourist beach in the mediterranean,
  • Seasonal cycles in the vertical migration of nutrients along a coastline, and their dependence on marine weather patterns,
  • A model of sea level changes around Britain's coastline over the last decade,
  • The design of an easy-access coastal information system containing data derived from the satellite record,
  • Accessibility of environmental information of coastal zones by NATO navies,
  • Trends in global climate change revealed in the middle of the Atlantic by satellite observations repeated over a decade.

SOS has longer experience in the field of creating useful marine products from raw satellite data than any company in Europe, and this is reflected in the number of Training Workshops it has been asked to organise around the world.

  • We invite any organisation, country or agency wishing to understand more about the value of satellite marine products to make contact with SOS.

  • We are completely current with the programmes and aspirations of all the major space agencies and we are a leading promoter of 'real-time' constellations.

  • No organisation, whose interest lies in the sea, can afford to remain ignorant of the increasingly relevant role of satellite surveillance to its operations.


Several satellites measure the height of waves at the sea surface. SOS archive these and windspeed measurements in the WAVSAT database. This then used to provide high quality marine statistics and climatology.

Dockwise towing

Transporting a 33000 ton semi-submersible safely from Canada to Brazil depends critically on making the best use of whatever information is available on sea-state. SOS worked closely with Dockwise on the COMKISS project.

Sea State Alarm

The SOS Sea State Alarm service (see Services) transmits reports to ships comparing actual sea state along the satellite tracks with the forecast.