BIO ARGO : Chlorophyll, backscattering, CDOM and irradiance measurements on profiling floats.

Project leaders : Hervé Claustre & Fabrizio D'Ortenzio

The main mission of Bio-Argo is to contribute to the development of a bio-optical and biogeochemical component within the Argo-France program. Profiling floats equipped with bio-optical sensors will be developed for measurement, together with temperature and salinity (Argo), of chlorophyll-a and backscattering (Bio-Argo). These biogeochemical and bio-optical quantities will also serve to compare and validate remotely sensed oceanographic data from satellites. Hosting internationally accredited facilities for pigment analyses as well as bringing in its specific expertise on marine robotics and sensor calibration, the team in Villefranche is strongly involved in such efforts and managing the Bio-Argo project.

Funded by the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES), government agency responsible for shaping and implementing France’s space policy in Europe, the project has a national status within an international context and perspective. Starting in 2011, Bio-Argo will deliver a series of 5-6 profiling floats on a yearly basis. These floats will be made available at national level to progressively promote the development of a user community of these new autonomous platforms.

Note that at an international level Bio-Argo also refers to the IOCCG (International Ocean-Color Coordinating Group) working group, which aims at making recommendations with respect to the development of float array dedicated to (1) ocean color validation activity and (2) biogeochemical observation (cf. Claustre et al. 2010 "pdfWhite paper365.16 Ko").