The SAWS Marine Research Unit maintains instrumentation on, and deploys personnel onboard various research vessels. Whilst onboard, personnel conduct routine synoptic surface observations, noting many details about the weather at their given location. Our instruments collect valuable data from areas around the globe which are otherwise difficult to reach. This helps to ensure a stream of data to keep weather forecast models on track in remote areas, as well as build a climate data base with which to track climate change. Data collected onboard is often of great value to other researchers, whose subjects – biological, chemical or physical – often depend on local meteorological parameters.

SAWS Marine Unit is involved with various collaborative ship observation programs. These include the Ship Observation Team, Agulhas System Climate Array, SANAP, and SCALE.