Context and objective

Argo is an international array of 3000 profiling floats that measure temperature and salinity throughout the deep global oceans, down to 2,000 metres. Argo is the first-ever global, in-situ ocean-observing network in the history of oceanography, providing an essential complement to satellite systems, to understand the role of the ocean on the earth’s climate and to predict the evolution of our weather and climate.


Maintaining the full array over multi-decadal time scales, and extending its present capability is crucial both for climate studies and their environmental and social implications.


The overall objective of the project is to consolidate and improve the French contribution to the international Argo observing system and to prepare the next scientific challenges for in-situ monitoring of the world ocean. France is leading the Euro-Argo European research infrastructure that organizes and federates European contribution to Argo. Euro-Argo is part of the European ESFRI roadmap on large research infrastructure. It will evolve in 2011 into a sustained long-term European organization and legal structure (Euro-Argo ERIC) that will be hosted by France. NAOS is designed as a complement to Argo France and Euro-Argo ERIC.