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Apex floats in the lab aboard R/V Oceanus, headed out to CLIMODE.

Drops in the Bucket

A rack full of Apex floats sit in the main science lab of the researchvessel Oceanus, awaiting launch into the North Atlantic as part of the CLIMODE research program. Floats are dropped into the sea and allowedto drift with the currents, traveling long distances without the needof a ship, person, or propeller. They also rise and fall vertically, using simple mechanical pumps, bladders, and otherdevices to change their buoyancy relative to the water andto bob between various depths. Most floats are programmedto rise to the surface periodically in order to send data via satelliteantenna to scientists on shore. (Photo by Sean Whelan, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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