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Autonomous Measurements of Oceanic Dissolved Nitrate from Commercially Available Profiling Floats Equipped with ISUS

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LONG-TERM GOALS. The goal of this work has been to design, build, and produce a commercially available version of the In Situ Ultraviolet Spectrometer ISUS suitable for use on commercially-built profiling floats. Moored versions of ISUS already exist, and a profiling float version has been built and deployed, with excellent and exciting results. However, fabrication of the sensor and integration with the float have been to date difficult from an engineering perspective, and as a result possible by only a very few technical groups. The goal of this work is to simplify the design so that a commercial version of the floatISUS can be produced and ultimately be widely used in the physical and biogeochemical oceanographic communites. As this project ends, we can say that we have met and exceeded our long-term goals. OBJECTIVES. The 3000 profiling floats deployed and maintained by the Argo project have provided a global-scale ocean observing system that samples the ocean at 10 day and 300 km scales to depths of 2000 m. Argo floats make observations of temperature and salinity as functions of pressure. In the past 5 years dissolved oxygen and optical sensors capable of measuring chlorophyll and particulates have been added to some floats in the array. These measurements have shown that, in addition to Argo s utility in observing basic physical parameters, profiling floats are likely to become an important tool in observing biogeochemical parameters. Such work is in its infancy, as sensors for use on floats must be small and lightweight and consume minimal power. Several types of such sensors are now under development, and the use of profiling floats in biogeochemical studies in the ocean is likely to increase greatly in the coming years as this sensor technology matures.

Subject Categories:

  • Physical and Dynamic Oceanography
  • Miscellaneous Detection and Detectors
  • Nuclear Instrumentation

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