During their transit to the Middle East in November and December 2014, the crew of HMAS Success assisted the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) with their global Argo program.
This project aims to gather up ocean data using robotic floats.
Success supported this venture by deploying 8 Argo floats at specified drop points in the Indian Ocean between Western Australia and the Gulf of Oman. The global Argo program relies on over 3000 autonomous drifting sensors from around the world routinely collecting sub-surface observations from the earth’s open ice-free oceans. Around 800 floats need to be deployed each year to maintain coverage and replace those with exhausted batteries.
The 1.5 metre profilers drift between 1 to 2 kilometres in depth once deployed.
Every 10 days they descend to a depth of 2000 metres and measure water temperature and salinity as they rise back to drifting depth. They repeat this cycle for approximately 4 years.
The information collected is transmitted to satellites and relayed to data centres around the world.
Image: Australian Navy