The procurement process for 7 biogeochemical floats and 7 deep floats started in November 2016 with the publication of a European call for tender. Only NKE provided an answer on the 24th of December 2015. The proposal was reviewed and was technically acceptable. The price offered for the DEEP floats was acceptable and the floats were ordered on the end March 2016 and will be delivered end July 2016 for deployment end on 2016-early 2017. A particular emphasis has been held on air O2 measurements to meet the community recommendations.
For the BIO floats, the price offered was 30% higher than what was planned in the proposal and as such would allow to buy only 4 floats. The ERIC project office declared the present lot not attributed . A new tender was issued for the hull and discussion are on going with WP3 partners for the sensor package.
Concerning the improvement of transmission capabilities, an analysis of the on-going improvement of RUDICS (Router based Unrestricted Digital Interworking Connectivity Solution) has been performed. NKE has already implemented a software based and a hardware based solution on their CTS4 platforms for an “over-the full” capacity of the Iridium performances if RUDICS is used. Other manufacturers will be required to produce an equivalent work if selected as providers for the floats.
Improvement of Bio-Argo float capabilities by adapting new sensors: in partnership with Seabird, LOV foresees a delivery of the first pH sensor for the second half of 2016. Significant advances have been proved on calibration issues, next step in progress is to integrate this sensor on floats and test it in situ. Concerning O2 sensor enhancements, the partnership with Contros company came out on the provision of one prototype sensors in June 2016 for an inter-comparison with existing Aanderaa optodes, and with Seabird sensors.
Development of an Autonomous System for Argo float Release (ASFAR) [Ifremer]: Two prototypes have been deployed outside AtlantOS. Some issues occurred on the first scheduled launch, still under investigation. The project waits for the second scheduled release, enhancements on the prototypes will come out in 2016, next launch of ASFAR systems scheduled for 2017.
Deployment plan for the Deep and Bio are under discussion at the Euro-Argo ERIC Management Board and the first deployment are scheduled for the end of the 2016 year for the Deep and in spring 2017 for the BIO. These plans will take into account the recommendations issued by the Euro-Argo ERIC documented in the “Strategy for extension of Argo in the next Decade” that the ERIC is finalizing. It will also take into account the recommendations from the OSSE meeting (link to WP1, WP5) organized in Toulouse end of December.
- Data distribution and real time process is already organized following the International Argo Data Management Team recommendations
- Delayed Mode management has to be refined with a working plan shared between the scientific partners
- The Production of a consistent Argo and Bio-Argo validated dataset will take place after the floats deployments. First discussions with the involved partners ([Ifremer], [ACRI]) have to be planned in the second half of 2016 for the Dataset specifications.
The Management Board of the Euro-Argo ERIC has finalized a document called “Strategy for the Evolution of Argo for the next Decade” in December 2015 that includes the extensions of the Core Argo program to the Biogeochemical measurements and the exploration of the deep ocean. This document took into account the international recommendations that came from the meeting organized in January in Villefranche which gathered about 30 experts willing to develop and implement a global Bio-Argo plan through a white paper. This International event was organized by Hervé Claustre and Ken Johnson (MBAR, USA) will led to a Bio-Argo strategy is connected to Euro-Argo ERIC activities. The Strategy document has been reviewed by the Euro-Argo ERIC Scientific and Technical Advisory Group and the recommendations will be provided to the Euro-Argo ERIC before end of June 2016 . Three areas have been identified for the deployment plan: North high latitudes, Marginal seas (Mediterranean, Baltic, Black Sea) and South Atlantic.