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WHOI Floats & Drifters

ALAMO Floats

Air-Launched Autonomous Micro Observer (ALAMO) floats are smaller versions of the profiling technology used in Argo floats like the SOLO. Their size allows them to be more easily deployed out of aircraft, making ALAMO floats ideal for the rapid-response deployments necessary for studying shorter-term phenomena like hurricanes and other storms.

The Argo Float Program

Argo is a global array of 3,000 free-drifting profiling floats that measures the temperature and salinity of the upper 2000 m of the ocean. This allows, for the first time, continuous monitoring of the temperature, salinity, and velocity of the upper ocean, with all data being relayed and made publicly available within hours after collection.

<strong>Argo float</strong><br />
An Argo float about to be deployed from a research vessel. (Photo © Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

Polar Profiling Floats

Polar Profiling Floats drift nose-up at various depths through the Arctic Ocean while measuring water temperature and salinity. The floats are programmed to rise to the surface periodically and send data via satellite antenna to scientists on shore.


Drifting with currents and profiling the upper ocean.


Drifting with currents, gyres, and currents to track the motion of water in the ocean.