Critical Cleanup in the Gulf

Iridium Connected real-time tracking and monitoring is helping contain and clean up the largest accidental marine oil spill in history.

MetOcean Data Systems Limited

“MetOcean tracking buoys are designed to deploy quickly when there is an oil spill. They establish a satellite link almost immediately to provide vital information on water movement.”

Emily Daniel, Marketing Manager at MetOcean Data Systems Ltd.

  • The Challenge
  • After receiving word of the April 2010 catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, U.S. Coast Guard and other first responders needed to react as fast as possible to protect the coast
  • The Solution
  • MetOcean designed three buoys for oil spill cleanup:
  • The iSPHERE drifting buoy specifically designed to track and to monitor oil spills
  • MetOcean SLDMB search and rescue drifter that can be air-deployed
  • MetOcean’s iSVP drifting buoy used to track sub-surface ocean current at specified depths, ideal for tracking sub-surface oil plumes
  • Buoys transmit short burst data (SBD) messages via the Iridium global satellite network. Iridium SBD is ideal for critical, near real-time data transmission between equipment and centralized host computer systems


More than 200 MetOcean iSPHERE, SLDMB and iSVP buoys helped the U.S. Coast Guard and an army of technicians monitor and contain oil slicks. Data communicated by the buoys enabled oil-spill responders to predict which direction slick will drift, allowing skimmers to focus efforts in the right areas.

Last Updated
January 2011