TPOS2020 March 2017 Monthly Status Report

The Project continued to build momentum this month. The Task Teams have begun meeting, the work of the NOAA Climate Program Office funding is underway, and the second TPOS Resources Forum (TRF-2) planning groups are working diligently toward the success of these sessions. All of these efforts are capitalizing on the work of the SC and Task Teams as well as the content provided in the TPOS 2020 First Report.

NOAA Climate Office Division 2016 Funding:

In July 2016 NOAA’s Climate Program Office announced $4.5 M for new observing technologies for ENSO research and predictions. This is an investment of NOAA to the advancement of the Tropical Pacific Observing System (TPOS 2020) Project rethinking the ocean/marine observing system in the tropical Pacific. The benefit of this improved observation system will have a global impact. Below is a brief update on two of the four funded projects.

“Autonomous Surface Vessels as Low-Cost TPOS Platforms for Observing the Planetary Boundary Layer and Surface Biogeochemistry”

  • See the First Report of TPOS 2020 at for details, section 10.2.2
  • On March 17, a Saildrone began testing a new boat design with a full suite of meteorological, biogeochemical, and physical sensors along the coastal shelf off San Francisco Bay.
    • This month the project will ground-truth the Saildrone’s scientific payload in a 24-hour comparison with NOAA’s R/V Shimada.
    • This includes testing the performance of a new PMEL-built Autonomous Surface Vessel pCO2 (ASVCO2) system on the Saildrone in a comparison with the pCO2 system on the Shimada.
    • After this test the Saildrone will transit to the CCE1 buoy off Santa Barbara for an additional inter-comparison with the CCE1 Moored Autonomous pCO2 system (MAPCO2).
  • These tests are in preparation for the first OOMD-supported TPOS Saildrone mission planned to begin late summer
    • This mission will include two Saildrones outfitted with a full suite of meteorological, biogeochemical, oceanic, and engineering sensors to estimate the wind stress and air-sea exchange of heat and CO2.
    • Further activities will test data quality through inter-comparisons against the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) buoy, drifters, gliders, and research vessels deployed at 10°N, 125°W as part of the NASA Salinity Processes in the Upper Ocean Regional Study-2 (SPURS-2).
    • This mission will also involve inter-comparisons against existing TAO moorings along 125°W, including the TAO mooring at 0°, 125°W, which is enhanced with a MAPCO2 system.

“Enhanced Ocean Boundary Layer Observations On NDBC TAO Moorings”

  • See the First Report of TPOS 2020 at for details, section 10.2.4
  • Two operational TAO/TRITON moorings have been reconfigured with additional instrumentation as part of a joint NDBC-PMEL project.
  • Deployed in January 2017 they are providing unprecedented resolution of the upper circulation.
    • The mooring at 2S, 165E has additional surface meteorological sensors, and upper-layer temperature and salinity sensors to better resolve mixed layer fluctuations and the response to warm pool precipitation.
    • The mooring at 2S, 140W is the first to also sample upper ocean velocity, using an upwardlooking ADCP with a point current meter for verification.
  • Temperature and salinity data from these sites is now available on the TAO data site:; the velocity data is transmitted in real time but requires decoding.
    • A method to automate velocity data delivery is underway; preliminary data show the instruments are working well

Task Teams:

Western Pacific Task Team (WP-TT) met in March. One focus of the discussion was the launching of the Data Inventory (e.g. link of data web) activity in the western Pacific:

  • Primary goal is to take an inventory of what data is collected, where it is collected and made accessible, with a primary focus on whether or not it is publically available.
  • OceanSITES and JCOMMOPS will be consulted regarding best practices

In addition to a round-table discussion of regional activities and upcoming efforts, the group is undergoing discussions to meet opportunistically at various regional meetings and conferences.