Argo France brings together all French contributions to the international Argo programme, i.e. scientific and technical coordination, float purchase and deployment, data processing and interfaces with the user community (operational oceanography with Mercator Ocean and research). In addition to processing its own floats, France provides important data processing functions for its European and international partners (Coriolis data centre). Argo-France is coordinated within the Coriolis inter-agency structure (Ifremer, CEREMA, CNES, CNRS/INSU, IPEV, IRD, Météo France, SHOM) and has been labelled since 2011 by INSU as a National Observation Service (SNO) for research (OSU IUEM).
The TGIR Euro-Argo (Very Large Research Infrastructure) groups together the national component Argo France 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 to about 10% of the Argo programme (i.e. 30% of the European effort) 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, 0-2000m), 20 of which are equipped 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 multi-agency Coriolis infrastructure;
- the European Union (ERDF), the Brittany Region, the Finistère General Council, Brest Métrpole and Ifremer through the CPER Argo and OceanObs projects; the PACA Region;
- The activities of SNO Argo France are carried out by the Laboratoire d'Océanographie Physique et Spatiale (LOPS, UMR6523) at OSU IUEM (UBO) in partnership with the Laboratoire d'Océanographie de Villefranche sur Mer (LOV, UMR7093) at OSU IMEV ans OSU STAMAR (Sorbonne Université). SNO Argo France is supported by CNRS / INSU and the Observatory of the European University Institute of the Sea (OSU IUEM);
- Research & development activities related 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.