E-AIMS Workpackages


Links between the project workpackages are summarized in the project logic diagram:

WP2: Reasearch and Development (R&D) on float technology

Objective: The continued improvement and evolution of float technology is crucial to answer existing and new GMES Marine Service requirements,

  • to develop new capabilities for seasonal and decadal forecastin,
  • to better serve satellite calibration and validation (Cal/Val) activities,
  • to answer science requirements to further explore the oceans.

Technological innovation (which is a key aspect of long term sustainability) is also needed to improve reliability, lifetime, energy savings, to reduce costs and size/weight. There are several important on going float technology R&D activities and new Argo floats are or will soon be available from float manufacturers (in particular from the European SMEs NKE and Optimare). They require, however, extensive testing before they can be used for operational monitoring. This WP will organize an end-to-end test of these new floats (float design, float procurement, float deployment and float data analysis) and analyze the actual performances at sea. This will be done in close collaboration with float manufacturers in Europe.

Description : Specification of new floats will be first defined in interaction with float manufacturers and floats will be ordered to them. Floats will then be deployed and tested at sea. Task leaders will use their own Argo float deployment capabilities (research vessels, opportunity deployment campaigns). Data analysis including delayed mode quality control will be performed by WP2 partners. Real time data processing and interfaces with GMES Marine Service (MyOcean2) will be organized as part of WP6 activities (Figure 1). The WP includes five tasks corresponding to the main envisioned technological evolutions of Argo floats for the next decade. E-AIMS WP2 has to organize and end-to-end test of these new floats by:

  • specifying specific features (if different from float manufactures offers),
  • doing complements of float design or sensor adaptation (if necessary),
  • ordering them,
  • testing them (eventually) before deployment,
  • agreeing on at sea testing procedure,
  • deploying them ,
  • and finally data analyzing including delayed mode quality control.

Figure 2: Summary of WP2 organization, interactions and activities.

WP3: Impact and design studies from GMES Marine Service and seasonal/decadal modeling and forecasting

Objective: As part of the Euro-Argo ERIC activities, Euro-Argo partners will develop a long term roadmap for the development of the new phase of the Argo program (extension to marginal seas and Polar Regions, development of biogeochemical component, deeper measurements, and evolution of global sampling) in close interaction with international partners (through FP7 SIDERI). It is essential that these evolutions take fully into account existing and future GMES Marine Service and seasonal/decadal climate forecasting. This is the main objective of WP3.

Description: This WP will first provide a summary of future requirements for Argo for the GMES Marine Service and seasonal/decadal climate forecasting. Requirements for Argo at European level (GMES (MCS), EEA (GISC)) will be revisited within WP3 taking into account envisioned evolution of Argo and GMES Marine Service (MyOcean2) refined requirements. These activities will contribute to define a long term roadmap for the Euro-Argo research infrastructure (Figure 3). The discussion on future requirements will include:

  • Argo sampling characteristics (horizontal, vertical), coverage (e.g. global ocean, marginal seas, polar regions, Deep Ocean) and extension to biogeochemical variables.
  • Data processing and data distribution system including quality control issues.

WP3 will be based on Observing System Evaluations (OSEs) - objective methods that allow estimation of the impact of existing observation systems - as well as on Observing System Simulation Experiments (OSSEs), estimating the impact of planned observational data sets. Impact (through OSEs) and design studies (through OSSEs) will be carried out by GMES Marine Service modeling and forecasting centers (MyOcean2) and seasonal/decadal climate forecasting centers. These impact and design studies will take into account synergy with satellite observations. From these analyses, robust recommendations for the evolution of Argo will be proposed. E-AIMS OSE/OSSE work will be organized as part of European contributions to the GODAE OceanView OSE/OSSE task team. This will ensure a proper integration of E-AIMS activities in the international context.

Figure 3: Summary of WP3 organization, interactions and activities.

WP4: Impact for the validation of satellite observations and for joint in-situ/satellite analyses

Objective: In-situ data are mandatory to complement satellite observations and to provide measurements of the ocean interior. Only the joint use of high resolution satellite data with in situ observations of the ocean interior has the potential to provide high resolution analyses and forecasts of the ocean state. In-situ data are needed to calibrate, validate and monitor the long term stability of satellite observations. Cal/Val methods are now widely used to assess the quality of satellite observations through the comparison with in-situ observations. Within this objective, WP4 will focus on satellite Cal/Val (Calibration/Validation) aspects using Argo data to identify recommendations for the development of the Argo observing system.

Description: This WP will first provide a summary of requirements for Argo for satellite Cal/Val activities and for the development of joint products (e.g. Level 3 or Level 4 products). Specific impact and design studies will be carried out. From these analyses, WP4 will contribute to the definition of future requirements for Argo: sampling strategy, in particular the diurnal cycle and vertical resolution (high resolution in surface layers and shallower measurements), the Argo parking depth and to identify new measured parameters.
The main goals of WP4 include:

  • to review the correct use of the Argo data to calibrate and validate the data produced by instruments mounted in satellites;
  • to assess what should be the appropriate upper ocean sampling to enhance the validation objectives, and
  • to provide a set of requirements to help define the new phase of Argo automatic profilers.

Cal/Val activities for satellite derived Sea Level, Ocean Colour, Sea Surface Temperature, and Sea Surface Salinity will be addressed in the 4 different tasks, respectively. The Synthesis part of this WP is expected to have to deal with the presence of various trade-offs between the needs of the various measured parameters.

Figure 4: Summary of WP4 organization, interactions and activities.

WP5: Research and Development (R&D) on Euro-Argo data system and interfaces with GMES Marine Service

Objective: The objective of this WP is to undertake the R&D activities necessary to improve the Euro-Argo data system to better serve the GMES Marine Service and adapt it to the future generation of Argo profiling floats (biogeochemical, deep, high vertical sampling).

Description : The Argo data processing system is a distributed one. Float data are transmitted to 10 national Data Assembly Centres (DACs), two of which are European: Coriolis/France and BODC/UK. The DACs perform first quality checks before the data are passed on to Argo's two Global Data Assembly Centres (GDACs) in France (Coriolis) and in the USA and the operational WMO Global Telecommunication System (GTS). This is the first stage at which the data are publicly available. Real-time data are made available to operational centers within approximately 24 hours of their transmission from the float. Delayed mode data are carefully processed by skilled operators to detect and correct any sensor errors (biases, drifts, spurious data). Since the instruments are not recovered and hence cannot be post-calibrated, the only approach is to use statistical methods that take into account prior knowledge (climatology), comparison with other observations when available (ship based measurements or other nearby floats). The objective is to obtain fully calibrated, quality-controlled, and self-consistent data sets of the precision required by climate studies. The purpose of WP5 is to develop real time and delayed mode methods for oxygen and biogeochemical parameters and implement them into the two European DACs to reach the same level of quality as has been achieved for temperature and salinity.

Figure 5: Summary of WP5 organization, interactions and activities.

WP6: Real time processing, impact and final assessment

Objective: The objective is to demonstrate that Euro-Argo data centers can process in real time (RT) the new floats developed and tested in WP2, distribute them to MyOcean modeling and forecasting centers and satellite Cal/Val teams as well as to show that these teams can effectively use these new data sets. Float data will be either directly assimilated or used for validation. The impact will be limited given the limited number of floats but the objective here is mainly an end-to-end assessment. The WP also includes the final assessment of the project, i.e. a synthesis of all WPs and final recommendations.

Description : The purpose of this WP is to process the new floats deployed within E-AIMS using the updated processing chains and Quality Control (QC) procedures set up in WP5. As float behavior at sea may differ from specifications, the processing chains will be, if needed, updated. After QC, the data will be sent onto the GTS for distribution to meteorological agencies, to the Argo GDAC for the Argo community and integrated in the MyOcean In-situ Thematic Assembly Center (Figure 6). Moreover, Argo data available from the E-AIMS project (and other existing Argo data) will be assimilated or used for validation within the global and Mediterranean ocean forecasting system and the global coupled forecasting system for the GMES Marine Core Service. The suitability of the data in terms of timeliness, robustness and quality will be assessed within the operational context. The validation provides a number of skill-scores that provide an insight into the quality of the analyses and forecasts, in particular the impact of Argo floats on the accuracy and the quality of operational analyses. Similar impact studies will be also performed in the Black Sea. Impact studies of Argo data for satellite Cal/Val activities (altimetry, SST, ocean colour and sea surface salinity) are performed within WP6 and the reliability of float surface data will be, in particular, evaluated. For the final assessment based on OSEs/OSSEs work (WP3&WP4), analysis of performances of new Argo floats (WP2) and feedback from GMES Marine Service, seasonal/decadal climate forecasting centers and satellite experts (WP6), robust and quantitative recommendations for the next phase of Argo will be given. Implementation (e.g. organization, cost) and R&D issues will be discussed. This will be done in close interaction with the Euro-Argo ERIC management board.

Figure 6: Interactions, implementation and activities of E-AIMS to existing systems as performed in WP6.

Figure 7: Summary of WP6 organization, interactions and activities.