Extending Argo float coverage in polar regions
As of writing the Argo project has a good coverage of the open oceans, and provides an unique open dataset for the oceans physical state. However, the closer we go to the poles, the scarcer the coverage of Argo floats gets. The main reason for this is that operating the floats is more challenging with the constant risk of ice. The practices to operate in such conditions are various, and for a new operator the risks and procedures can be daunting. In the Euro-Argo Rise project, one of our targets is to further develop the Argo operations in both Arctic and Antarctic regions. For this end, we work on two approaches: First is to develop and improve ice-avoidance algorithms and review their performance and limitations on both regions. The second approach is to gather up experiences and lessons learned from float operations in these regions. The new developments within the project and the historical information will be combined to form an extensive best-practices guidance for lowering the barrier for current and future operators to enter in the polar regions. Within the project we have deployed Argo floats with Ice Sensing Algorithms (ISA) in both polar regions, and in the Baltic Sea. The Baltic Sea is added, as it has ice cover for only a part of the year, and for its size, it is easy to retrieve the floats after missions for further study. In this presentation we will show the results of our first experiments and the findings that will be the basis of the best-practices proposed by the project.