A fleet of seven Unmanned Surface Vehicle saildrones (link) will participate in the EUREC4A-OA and ATOMIC campaign, and extend the air-sea interaction measurements from boreal winter to summer (January-July 2020). The saildrones will operate in the larger ocean area around Barbados, particularly in the two ocean eddy corridors: 1) Between the Barbados Cloud Observatory (BCO) and the moored Northwest Tropical Atlantic Station (NTAS) buoy in the Easterlies Alley; 2) Southeast of BCO in the North Brazil Current Ring corridor. The extra instrumentation on board the fleet of saildrones was selected to complement the EUREC4A-OA and ATOMIC shipboard and airborne observation with air-sea interaction measurements at the ocean mesoscale and submesoscales (10m-300km). During the intensive observation period (IOP) (January-February, 2020), the saildrone fleet will be coordinated with the participating research vessels (R/V L’Atalante, R/V Maria S. Merian, R/V Meteor, and R/V Ron Brown), the research aircraft, and other autonomous observing platforms (ocean gliders, profiling Argo floats, surface drifters, and unmanned aerial drones launched from research vessels). The unique combination of observing platforms will enable the simultaneous observation of the lower-atmosphere and the upper-ocean with an unprecedented spatio-temporal multi-scale sampling. After the IOP, the two NOAA funded saildrones will continue their observation till July 2020, while the rest of the saildrone fleet will return to Barbados for recovery.
- Dongxiao Zhang of JISAO/University of Washington and NOAA/PMEL: 2 NOAA funded saildrones (January-July)
- Chelle Gentemann of ESR: 3 NASA funded saildrones (January-February)
- Johannes Karstensen and Sabrina Speich: 3 JPI Ocean & Climate EU funded saildrones (January-February)