The Bureau of Meteorology is scheduled in 2007 to expand its oceanographic services for the Australian community to include operational mesoscale ocean forecasts. The past decade has seen the rapid development of a near real-time global ocean observing system which includes both in- situ and satellite instrumentation. The spatial coverage and frequency of observations has provided the capacity for developing ocean prediction systems. Operational oceanography is a significant investment both in terms of human and computational resources, which is being actively pursued in public centres throughout the world. BLUElink is a joint initiative of the Bureau of Meteorology, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation and the Royal Australian Navy to develop this capability for Australia’s regional and territorial waters. Numerical ocean prediction is a computationally intensive task with the prototype system requiring resources comparable with numerical weather prediction and similarly takes full advantage of the very latest in high performance computing. In addition, the volume of observational, model and analysis data has demanded a comprehensive data management system. Effective information technology solutions are essential for managing, maintaining and servicing this new capacity to fulfil the needs of the Australian community.
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