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The purpose of the BOUSSOLE project is to establish a time series of optical properties in oceanic waters, in support to bio-optics research, to calibration of ocean color satellite observations, and to validation of the products derived from these observations.

The bio-optics research as well as the "match-up" analyses and vicarious calibration experiments are performed based on the data set that is being built from the permanent marine optical buoy and monthly cruises.

The site where the mooring is deployed and where the cruises are carried out is located in the Ligurian sea, one of the sub-basins of the Western Mediterranean sea.

This project has been named “BOUSSOLE", which is a French acronym meaning "BOUée pour l'acquiSition d'une Série Optique à Long termE". It is literally translated from French as the “buoy for the acquisition of a long-term optical series." "BOUSSOLE" is the French word for "compass".

The BOUSSOLE Project is a continuous activity, which evolves over time to deal with the multitude of problems associated with long-term oceanic deployments, and this web site is to be seen as a snapshot of the present state of the activity and achievements. An overview of the different technical aspects is provided. It is just aimed at providing the minimum basic information that is needed for an overall understanding of what has been done and what is presently done in all segments of the project.

BOUSSOLE is a joint effort by multiple organizations, which are pooling together the work of a lot of people, and is funded and supported by the following agencies and academic or governmental institutes:
• European Space Agency (ESA),
• Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES),
• Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)
• National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA),
• Institut National des Sciences de l’Univers (INSU),
• Université Pierre et Marie Curie (UPMC),
• Observatoire Océanologique de Villefranche-sur-Mer.

Some direct links :

General news

Real-time data from the buoy

The last BOUSSOLE cruise report

Direct access to the BOUSSOLE data base