Argo France brings together all French contributions to the international Argo program, i.e. scientific and technical coordination, float purchase and deployment, data processing and interfaces with the user community (operational oceanography with Mercator Ocean International and the scientific community in particular).
In addition to monitoring and processing data from its own floats, France performs important data processing functions for its European and international partners through the Coriolis Data Center, which handles Argo DACs and GDACs.
Since 2011, Argo France has been accredited by INSU as a National Observation Service (SNO) for Research at OSU IUEM (UBO). Argo-France is coordinated by the IR* Euro-Argo France (Ifremer, CNRS, SHOM, UBO and Sorbonne University). This Research Infrastructure brings together the national Argo France component and the French contribution to the coordination of the ERIC Euro-Argo. The ERIC (European Research Infrastructure Consortium) Euro-Argo is the European contribution to the international Argo network.
France's ambition is to contribute around 10% of the Argo program (i.e. 30% of European efforts) by deploying 80 floats/year, distributed as follows: 30 standard floats (T,S-2000m), 15 deep floats (T,S,oxygen, 0-4000m), 35 biogeochemical floats (BGC, 0-2000 m), 20 of which with an oxygen sensor only.
To achieve its objectives, Argo-France relies on funding:
- Ifremer, SHOM, CNES, INSU, IRD, Météo-France and IPEV through the Coriolis data center infrastructure and Coriolis Déploiement (CODEP)
- the European Union (ERDF), the Brittany Region, the Finistère General Council, Brest Métropole and Ifremer through the CPER Argo and OceanObs projects; the PACA Region;
- SNO Argo France activities are carried out by the Laboratoire d'Océanographie Physique et Spatiale (LOPS, UMR6523) at OSU IUEM (UBO) and the Laboratoire d'Océanographie de Villefranche sur Mer (LOV, UMR7093) at OSU STAMAR (Sorbonne Université) at IMEV. SNO Argo France is supported by CNRS / INSU and the Observatoire de l'Institut Universitaire Européen de la Mer (OSU IUEM);
- Research and development activities linked to Argo France are also supported by projects : ANR PIA3 Argo2030; Ifremer PIA PIANO, ERC REFINE.
Argo-France also relies on the Scientific Council of the Mercator Coriolis Mission Group (GMMC) to finance float deployment projects or scientific support for the Argo-France activity.