Argo - Argo

Program Description: Argo is a global array of more than 3,000 free-drifting profiling floats that measures thetemperature and salinity of the upper 2000 m of the ocean. This allows, for the first time, continuous monitoring of the temperature, salinity, and velocity of the upper ocean, with all data being relayed and made publicly available within hours after collection. A real time data delivery and quality control system has been established that delivers 90% of profiles to users via two global data centers (GDACs) within 24 hours. A delayed mode quality control system (DMQC) has been established and 65% of all eligible profiles have had DMQC applied. The Système Argos data are monitored by the Argo Information Centre (AIC) in France and then received by national data centers (DACs). The data from floats using other communications systems may go directly to the float's owner or to the AIC before arriving at Argo's two Global Data Assembly Centers (GDACS) in Brest, France and Monterey, California. The final repository for Argo data is with the US National Oceanographic Data Center.

Year Started: 2000.

Organization Description: The array is made up of 30 different countries’ contributions. Argo is a major contributor to the WCRP 's Climate Variability and Predictability Experiment (CLIVAR) project and to the Global Ocean Data Assimilation Experiment (GODAE). The Argo array is part of the Global Climate Observing System/Global Ocean Observing System GCOS /GOOS).

Data Description: Input from more than 3600 ocean floats. The floats have an antenna to communicate with the satellites that fix the float's position and receive the data. Also on the top are the temperature and salinity sensors. At the bottom of the float in a protective cover is a bladder that is connected to the inside of the float. The floats are designed so that with the bladder empty they have the same density as seawater at the depth at which they drift. They are also designed to be less compressible than sea water. This keeps them stable at depth. The floats are put in the ocean from ships or aircraft and sink to depth. After 10 days oil is pumped into the bladder and drives the float to the surface. At the surface it is positioned by satellites and downloads its temperature /salinity profile. The bladder then deflates and the float sinks back to depth to repeat the cycle. They are battery powered and operate for about 4 years on a single battery.

Project Type: Sensor Network Repository

Project Domains: Geosciences

Budget: $24 Million per Year

Program Data

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