Climate change research requires long-term, sustained, high quality and global observations. Argo international has thus defined as a first priority the maintenance of the global array of 3000 floats measuring temperature and salinity down to 2000 m over the next 20 years.
The enormous scientific potential of Argo is directly related to such a long term global coverage. The first objective of NAOS is thus to strengthen the French contribution to the Argo core mission (65 floats per year) by deploying between 10 to 15 additional floats per year over the period 2012-2019 (110 floats in total).
The NAOS floats designed for the Argo core mission will feature innovative technological evolutions to improve reliability, lifetime, energy savings, costs and easy deployment. Improving our knowledge of the role of the ocean on the climate system requires new observing tools. To address longer time scales of the climate change, deeper water masses need to be monitored. Taking into account climate change impacts and retroactions implies considering biogeochemical aspects. These new scientific challenges require evolutions of the Argo instruments for the next decade.
NAOS is going to develop, validate and deploy the next generation of Argo profiling floats. 70 new generation floats will be deployed in three pilot areas (Mediterranean, Arctic and North Atlantic.
The project is structured into 5 main workpackages:
WP1: Consolidation of the French contribution to Argo (Lead: Ifremer).
WP2: Development of the next generation of French Argo floats (Lead: Ifremer).
- Task 2.1 Float technology improvements (NKE, IFREMER)
- Task 2.2 Satellite communications (CLS, NKE)
- Task 2.3 Deep floats (IFREMER, NKE)
- Task 2.4 Design of a new electronics (UPMC, IFREMER)
- Task 2.5 Density sensors (NKE, SHOM, IFREMER)
- Task 2.6 Under sea ice capability (UPMC, CNRS, NKE)
WP3: Biogeochemical floats in the Mediterranean Sea (Lead: UPMC/LOV).
WP4: Biogeochemical floats in the Arctic Sea (Lead: CNRS/UMI Takuvik).
WP5: Deep oxygen floats in the North Atlantic (Lead: UBO/IUEM/LPO).