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Images: Launching the Argo Armada

The Argo program proposes to disperse 3,000 floats, like the one below, throughout the oceans to collect data on oceanic conditions that can be periodically transmitted to shore via satellite.

The principal components of an Argo float.

Each float sinks to depths of 2,000 meters, drifts with ocean currents for ten days, rises to the surface taking measurements along the way, and then transmits data back to shore via satellite.

Argo floats (like the prototype above in the Labrador Sea) can be deployed by ships, or parachuted by airplanes (below) to seed more remote ocean regions. (George Tupper.)

(Webb Research)