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Ocean profilers: ARGO programme

Subsurface profiling floats represent a family of ocean vectors that can be deployed for very long periods.

These instruments are dropped offshore and operate autonomously; they are able to control their immersion depth, which goes down to a maximum of 2000 metres. The typical cycle involves an immersion, followed by a stabilisation down to the drift depth, 1500 metres for exemple, for a period of 9 days. Another stabilisation is performed at 2000 metres, before the system starts to rise to the surface, a period during which temperature, salinity and pressure are measured. Once at the surface, around a hundred of these triplets (T, S, P) is sent via a satellite vector such as ARGOS or IRIDIUM. Following this transmission, the profiler performs a new cycle, usually identical; 250* cycles can thus be performed until the batteries run out, which represents more than three years of operation (* depending on model and energy type)

ARGO is the name of an international project of operational oceanography coordinated by UNESCO, in which many countries involved in the study of the oceans take part. The instruments used are ocean profilers deployed throughout the world's oceans: the project's objective is the deployment of 3000 profilers, which should allow the presence of one instrument every 3° in latitude by 3° in longitude. The data processed and validated by the scientists are placed at the community's disposal for many diverse studies.


Datenblatt [1.307 KB]

It integrates high accuracy sensors recognised by the international scientific community. During these drifting and ascending phases, PROVOR CTS 3 collects 100 data triplets of pressure, temperature and salinity. Once at the surface, these data are sent via the ARGOS system. PROVOR CTS 3 has a large capacity to make its volume vary, and it is self-ballasted.

Thanks to their ballasting principle, which involved a large oil reserve, PROVOR units are self-ballasted. They can therefore be deployed in every ocean and in water areas with important density gradients without requiring any prior weighing operation.

PROVOR CTS 3 can be used directly and is activated by the simple removal of a magnet.

Several hundreds of units have been produced, with very good results at sea. PROVOR CTS 3 is a reliable float system proposed at optimised cost.

The electric autonomy is calculated for more than 250 profiles with a 10-day drifting period and profiles at a depth of 2000 metres, the acquisition and transmission of 100 PTS triplets. Notwithstanding any incident, the lifespan at sea is in excess of 5 years.

The ballasting principle allows the device to adapt to additional loads and PROVOR is used as a platform to produce multi-sensor profilers. ( Provbio , DO)

PROVOR was developed in industrial partnership with IFREMER: IFREMER is the French Research Institute for the Exploitation of the Sea.


Datenblatt [1.461 KB]

PROVOR CTS3_DO is a profiler that complies with the guidelines of the ARGO programme. It carries out profiles from 2000 metres to the surface by collecting temperature and salinity measurements at various depths. The data are sent via the ARGOS satellite. In addition, PROVOR CTS3 _ DO is fitted with an Aanderaa 3830 optode that measures dissolved oxygen.

The principle of buoyancy variation used by PROVOR units allows their deployment in nearly all ocean areas with no prior ballasting.

PROVOR was developed in industrial partnership with IFREMER (French Research Institute for the Exploitation of the Sea).


Datenblatt [504 KB]

ARVOR was developed by IFREMER in industrial partnership with nke. Its design was the result of IFREMER's significant knowledge in the field of profilers, and nke carried out the industrialisation phase. The ARGOS satellite system is used to collect the data and to position ARVOR when it returns to the surface. ARVOR is designed to perform more than 250 profiles from a depth of 2000 metres to the surface.


ARVOR complies with the guidelines of the ARGO project
Light and easily implemented: less than 20Kg
"Seabird" CTD, validated metrology, continuous pumping
5-year autonomy and more than 250 cycles
ARVOR parameter setting via RF Bluetooth link

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