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Argo Status Argo TC, M. Belbeoch. DBCP #27 September 2011 Geneva, Switzerland. Argo is the best cooperative effort in the history of oceanography. 12 nations maintain the global array and 20 more fill regional gaps. However more international cooperation is required !.

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argo status argo tc m belbeoch

ArgoStatusArgo TC, M. Belbeoch

DBCP #27September 2011Geneva, Switzerland


Argoisthe best cooperative effort in the history of oceanography

12 nations maintain the global array and 20 more fill regional gaps

however more international cooperation is required
However more international cooperationisrequired!

54% maintained by the USA … Growing involvement of Europe is crucial

We need further South American countries participation


Some nations have difficulties to sustain or augment their contribution

USA contribution has probably reached a limit and is slightly decreasing for the first time

EuroArgo is starting to be fruitful with a number of new comers, and historical Argo countries that are still progressing.

To be noted the substantial Australian contribution

Asia keeps to assure its part

Brazil has just funded floats (and drifters)


Argoisalmostcomplete, and approachingitsinititaltarget

Some floats are not sending good data

Some are beached or probably “blocked” under the seasonal ice

Some are bumping each others in marginal seas …

90% of the array is fulfilling the original AST design (improving, with 85% last year)

after a drop in 2009 2010 argo is back to its target
After a drop in 2009/2010, Argois back to itstarget
  • Can we reasonably reach 4000 floats for an “expanded Argo” including high latitudes and main marginal seas

But floats are gettingold

A large part of the Pacific Ocean will need to be coveredas well as the SW Atlantic and NE/W Indian and SO


Argo Planning

all groups plan their deployments via the central JCOMMOPS interfacewith TC backup … almost all.


Argo Planning: large deploymentsanticipated in 2011

Cooperationeven more important

… and optimize them gradually according to network density/age, colleagues plans,

via a specific scoring system (avoid overlap, share opportunities, etc)


Argo Data Stream: DelayedModestatusArgo is a dynamic dataset

DM Operators replace gradually netCDF profiles at GDACs/Internet

03/2010: 76% achieved09/2011: 80% (of 835 00 profiles)


Delays: GDACs distribution - some progress made ? (~80h in 03/2010)

The AIC flagged delays at GDACs that have been partially solvedInternet distribution is not yet fully real time


Float technology improving, new sensors are being tested,

Iridium slowly adopted (~25% / year in 2011)

Argos 3 being tested at sea


Argo Information Centre news

  • The AIC is funded on a yearly basis via voluntary contributions from Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, the United Kingdom and the United States. To be noted that Japan (via JAMSTEC) started provide funds for the AIC in 2011.
  • Argo Steering Team members strongly requested the TC to ensure a regular maintenance of the float database (as every single float is checked by the TC), crucial for implementation planning.
  • “EEZ warning system” developed and operational


  • The AST encouraged the TC to finalize the float donation contracts with the IOC to properly transfer float responsibility between two Member States or to UNESCO.
  • JCOMMOPS has also started to sell some services, to cover some functioning expenses and develop some activities. In that line, the AST agreed to have the official Argo sticker (small or large size) sold to manufacturers for a symbolical amount of 3€/unit. It is a way as well to officially label a platform and make sure JCOMMOPS is in touch with the operator. A charter should be provided along with the sticker so that operator is aware of services provided by JCOMMOPS and duties of participating in the programme.
  • Iridium SBD decoding (for RT locations) being developed:
  • Temperature and Salinity overlays (using the Scripps Argo based Atlas) were tested and added to the Google Earth application as well as a quality control feedback system.
  • The AIC is preparing an audit on Argo metadata to harmonize metadata files content (Argo GDACs, JCOMMOPS, GTS Codes), and add crucial metadata not yet handled by the Argo netCDF format.

Argo outreach capacity improving

Google Earth World News /

UNESCO program

Argo Atlas (TT-CB)



  • The number of countries involved in Argo keeps growing
  • There is a clear deficit from 2009 of 300 units.

Will this be caught up in 2011/2012 ? Argo will have to do better than ever .

  • Progress is clear regarding the “efficiency” of the arrayThe CoreArgo array needs to be defined more accurately for better monitoring
  • Delayed mode data management is approaching 90% of completion
  • Delays in data availability at the GDACs has been solved
  • Argo continues analyzing effects of pressure bias
  • Float lifetime keeps improving
  • New generation of telecoms seems ready on all float models
  • Plans for deep Argo initiated - 3000m
  • Anyone can explore world oceans from their desktop

It is still a challenge to maintain Argo and more international cooperation is required to secure the core array and will be crucial to expand it.

  • Expansion of Argo to high latitudes, marginal seas, bio-argo will requires clear commitments for
    • floats
    • ship time
    • resources for data management
    • resources for the infrastructure
  • Argo/DBCP:
    • Operations (deployments)
    • Cooperation (donor programmes, TT-CB)