TERRAPUB Journal of Oceanography

Journal of Oceanography, Vol. 61 (No. 4), pp. 775-781, 2005

Short Contribution

Long-term Sensor Drift Found in Recovered Argo Profiling Floats

Eitarou Oka*

Institution of Observational Research for Global Change, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, Natushima-cho, Yokosuka, Kanagawa 237-0061, Japan

(Received 24 May 2004; in revised form 31 August 2004; accepted 28 September 2004)

Abstract: We recovered three Argo profiling floats after 2 to 2.5 years of operation, and recalibrated their temperature, conductivity, and pressure sensors. The results demonstrate that these floats exhibited a significant drift in salinity of -0.0074 to -0.0125, primarily due to the conductivity sensor drift. Combined with the recalibration result for another previously recovered float, the indication is that the negative salinity drift increases nearly in proportion to the operating period of floats. The increasing rate is -0.0041 (±0.0015) year-1, which yields a salinity drift of -0.016 (±0.006) for the expected float lifetime of four years. The present result suggests that reducing the float surfacing time would improve the accuracy of the salinity measurements.

*E-mail: okae@jamstec.go.jp

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