Argo Float Program (2015-2019)

Steven Jayne, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution


The 5-institution U.S. Argo Float Consortium proposes to continue to sustain and improve the
U.S. component of the international Argo Program (, a global array of
autonomous profiling floats. Since beginning in 2000, the Argo Program has transformed largescale physical oceanography, contributing data to over 1800 research publications, 100 PhD
theses, and many reanalysis and prediction applications in operational oceanography. As the
largest partner in the International Argo Program, the U.S. Float Consortium plays leadership
roles that include technology improvement in profiling floats, production and/or commercial
acquisition of floats, deployment planning and logistics, float communications, data
management, scientific data analysis, international coordination, and education and outreach.
During the next 5-year cycle, U.S. Argo will sustain the present contribution of over half of the
Argo array while enhancing coverage on a regional basis (high latitudes, western boundary and
equatorial regions, marginal seas), further improving data quality, timeliness, and resolution, plus
extending float lifetimes and cost-effectiveness. A major enhancement to Argo will be the
implementation of Deep Argo to extend sampling to the ocean bottom (up to 6000 m). As a key
component of the Deep Ocean Observing Strategy (DOOS), Deep Argo is needed to close
regional and global budgets of heat, freshwater, and steric sea level, and for exploration of deep
ocean circulation. Following two years of pilot deployments to test floats and sensors and to aid
in array design, the U.S. Consortium will produce and deploy 100 Deep Argo floats annually, to
be integrated with planned contributions of international partners.