The ASAP in its present form began in the mid1980s. The programme objective is to record profile data from the upper air strata in ocean areas using automated sounding systems carried on board merchant ships plying regular ocean routes. Several national meteorological services operate ASAP units and the collected data are made available in real time via GTS. ASAP data are archived alongside other radio sounding data by many national meteorological services. ASAP is an important contribution to both the WWW and GCOS. Today most of the soundings are from the North Atlantic and north-west Pacific, but the programme is expanding to other ocean basins through a new, co-operative World-wide Recurring ASAP Project (WRAP). Denmark operates two ASAP units mounted on ships plying fixed routes from Denmark to Greenland. The European meteorological cooperation EUMETNET started a special E-ASAP programme in December 2000. The programme aims at joint operation of the ASAP programmes under the European meteorological institutes.