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ARGO Float

ARGO float

The National Institute of Meteorological Sciences ARGO (NIMS-ARGO) program is an international cooperation program for global ocean observation performed by the World Meteorological Organization/Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (WMO/IOC). The objectives of this project is to do near-real time monitoring the upper ocean from monthly to decadal scale variation, and to describe the ocean climate change quantitatively.

The Argo floats carry out profiling of the water temperature, salinity, Chlorophyll, and Nitrogen for the physical and biogeochemical study of ocean. This program started from early 2000 and 16 countries and several institutes and university in the world are participating in deploying more 800 floats every year.

As an international global ocean observation program, it is also connected with Global Climate Observing System/Global Ocean Observing System (GCOS/GOOS), Climate Variability and Predictability program (CLIVAR), and Global Ocean Data Assimilation Experiment (GODAE).

ARGO float Observation systems

ARGO I Video ARGO II Video
(soruce: ARGO Program,

ARGO float is designed to go down to specified depth and drift for determined time along geostrophic current.
Then it observes the temperature and salinity of the layers as it rises up to the surface layer by internal dynamics, and transmits the recorded data to ARGOS satellite.

The observed data will be sent to ARGOS center and processed by quality control. Then the final data will be distributed to the ARGO participating country via GTS, FTP and e-mail.

ARGO float Subsystem


  • Hydraulics
    control buoyancy adjustment of ARGO float.
  • Microprocessors
    system control and temporary recording of observed data.
  • Data transmission system
    control communication with satellite.

Principle of driving

  • Argo float rises up or goes down by simply controlling the buoyancy


  • Dimensions 23.6 cm diameter, 24 cm long (not incl. 70 cm antenna)
  • Mass 26 kg
  • Operating depth 2000 m maximum
  • Communication ARGOS satellite (401 MHz)

ARGOS satellite

  • ARGOS satellite (NOAA 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17 of USA), Japanese ADEOS-II and Brazilian SCD are used for data transmission of ARGO.

Related sites

Global Argo Centers and Programs

Coriolis GDAC


Argo Information Centre

Argo Data Management Team

Biogeochemical Argo

Argo Portal

국가별 웹사이트




독일(German Argo)





Argo Regional Centers

Pacific Argo Regional Center (PARC)

Indian Argo Regional Center (IARC)

North Atlantic Argo Regional Center (NA-ARC)

South Atlantic Argo Regional Center (SA-ARC)

Southern Ocean Argo Regional Center (SO-ARC)

MedArgo Regional Center (MedArgo ARC)

International Programs related to Argo

Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS)

Global Climate Observing System (GCOS)

Aquarius Sea Surface Salinity Satellite

Jason Satellite Altimeter

TOPEX/Poseidon Satellite Altimeter

Ocean Observations Panel for Climate (OOPC)

Global Ocean Data Assimilation Experiment (GODAE)

GODAE OceanView


Climate Variability and Predictability Experiment (CLIVAR)

World Climate Research Programme (WCRP)