A recent technological development are profiling drifters which move up and
down through the water column in the ocean. Historically the drifters go back
the ‘message in a bottle’ principle. They are programmed to sink to a selected
depth where they are carried around passively by ocean currents. At chosen
time intervals they ascend to the surface, sampling temperature and salinity
data on their way to the surface. At the surface the floats transmit their data to a
satellite which relays the data to a land station. The float sinks back to its
original depth and a new cycle begins. The sequence of surfacing positions provides
an idea about the intensity of the deep currents in the investigation
In the framework of the international ARGO-Projects these floats will
be used to set up an operational network of measurement platforms in the ocean.
Within the next year the BSH will have deployed approximately 30 floats as
part of the German contribution to ARGO network.