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amy bower and dave fisichella

Bobbing for data

Physical oceanographer Amy Bower, left, and research associate David Fisichella display a RAFOS Float.  These floats are neutrally buoyant, free drifting instruments, which are launched from a ship in the research area. Once deployed the float will settle to a predetermined depth (typically from 300-4000 meters) and remain there for up to two years. In addition to supplying data on ocean currents, each float also measures depth and the temperature of the seawater at each of its daily positions. When a float has completed its mission, a weight is dropped, and once it rises to the surface, all of its collected data is transmitted to an orbiting Argos satellite for relay transmission back to the lab. Data from RAFOS floats have been used by Bower and her colleagues to better understand the ocean circulation in the North Atlantic.

(Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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