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New Optical Oxygen Sensor Developed and Deployed on BGC Argo Float
Jessica Mkitarian
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New Optical Oxygen Sensor Developed and Deployed on BGC Argo Float

A revolutionary new optical oxygen sensor for Argo floats has been developed, completing the first stage of the biogeochemical (BGC) Argo float redesign project. This sensor was mounted on UW Float 1173 and deployed in the tropical Pacific on November 4, 2020. The newly developed SBE83 oxygen sensor will allow for the collection of air oxygen samples while the float is on the surface and it will calibrate upon each float profile. UW Float 1173, fabricated jointly by the University of Washington and Sea-Bird Scientific, is equipped with three oxygen sensors for intercomparison. 

The goal of this project is to produce an improved version of the SeaBird BGC-Navis profiling float that can be purchased commercially for use in future BGC-Argo-like field experiments. The PIs will develop and deploy 8-16 profiling floats equipped with high-quality biogeochemical sensors for pH, oxygen, nitrate, and optical measurements to observe biogeochemical properties in the upper 2000 meters of the water column to advance our ability to monitor and forecast changes in ocean warming, ocean acidification, deoxygenation, and marine ecosystem health. 

This project was funded by the Global Ocean Monitoring and Observing Program through the the 2019 National Ocean Partnership Program Broad Agency Announcement, in partnership with NASA's Ocean Biology and Biogeochemistry Program, to design and build a full-suite (6 parameter) biogeochemical (BGC) Argo profiling float, with a potential pathway for commercialization, through engagement between the academic, private, and governmental sectors. 

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