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Steps to Participation
Vessel operators interested in providing data to the SAMOS data assembly center (DAC) are requested to follow these procedures.
  1. Contact the DAC via email ( to express your interest in the SAMOS Initiative. This email will initiate the personal communication needed to answer your questions.

  2. Take a moment to review the list of paramters desired by the SAMOS DAC. Consider which of these parameters you can presently provide and those that you may be able to add (with future modifications to your data logging system or new instrument acquisition). Note that we are only interested in observations that are collected by automated systems. The preferred reporting interval is one minute (although we can discuss other sampling rates).

  3. Download and review the following documentation and forms:
    • Preferred SAMOS Exchange Format Specification [PDF]
    • SAMOS Vessel Metadata Form [PDF] [Word]
    • SAMOS Instrument Metadata Form [PDF] [Word]
    • Instructions for Metadata Forms [PDF]

  4. Send the completed metadata forms and your digital imagery and vessel schematics to the DAC ( This metadata is recorded in our SQL ship database and is essential for our data quality evaluation of your observations.

  5. Develop your own custom script to generate and send the files containing a single day's observations to the DAC. This file should be an attachment to an email sent to (not in the body of the email). Developing this script is the most time consuming part of this process for each vessel. As you are most familiar with your logging system, you are in the best position to develop this script. If this task is beyond your current resources, please let us know and we will look for a solution.

  6. Notify the DAC via that you are ready to send a test file. Once we reply, you can send your test email (with attachment) to

  7. Work with the DAC to debug data exchange.

  8. Begin routine data delivery to the DAC. Daily quality evaluation and vessel feedback will begin as soon as your data delivery reaches this operational stage.

  9. At this point we handle your data stewardship. We complete quality evaluation, report on the data quality and availability, distribute the data, and ensure long-term archival.

Note that once the initial process is worked out (took a few weeks of back and forth emails for the WHOI ships), we have had great success with this exchange. The pilot project vessels (Knorr and Atlantis) have been reporting with very few interruptions since May 2005.