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RAFOS FLOAT IN ACTION - RAFOS floats are deployed using one of two methods. Some floats are attached to a small anchor and dropped over the side of a research vessel, as shown in the first picture. They sink to the bottom and remain there, in a dormant state, until a preprogrammed time when they release the anchor and rise up to their target depth to start their drifting mission.
After completing their drifting mission, these floats release a second weight and rise to the sea surface, where they transmit all their stored data to orbiting satellites which then re-broadcast the information to ground stations, as seen in picture three.
Most floats however begin their drifting missions immediately after deployment from a research vessel or ship of opportunity (shown in picture two). At the end of their drifting mission, they also transmit the data they collected to satellites that relay the information to the scientist.