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The Optimal Design of Observational Networks (ODON) was an initiative to develop new techniques for sea surface temperature observing systems in the Baltic and North seas.

The innovation is to use regional ocean forecasting models to provide a very high resolution gridded sea surface temperature product. This gridded data product is then used to investigate the positions of both in-situ and satellite locations in order to optimise the quality of the model predictions. The optimisation is based on a trade-off against the cost of more satellites/buoys. The coverage of existing observational networks, in term of in-situ and satellite acquisition, has been investigated and appropriate gaps identified e.g. buoy data in the Eastern and Northern Baltic Seas.