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Emanuele Organelli, Hervé Claustre, Annick Bricaud, Catherine Schmechtig, Antoine Poteau, Xiaogang Xing, Louis Prieur, Fabrizio D’Ortenzio, Giorgio Dall’Olmo, and Vincenzo Vellucci

Abstract

An array of Bio-Argo floats equipped with radiometric sensors has been recently deployed in various open ocean areas representative of the diversity of trophic and bio-optical conditions prevailing in the so-called case 1 waters. Around solar noon and almost every day, each float acquires 0–250-m vertical profiles of photosynthetically available radiation and downward irradiance at three wavelengths (380, 412, and 490 nm). Up until now, more than 6500 profiles for each radiometric channel have been acquired. As these radiometric data are collected out of an operator’s control and regardless of meteorological conditions, specific and automatic data processing protocols have to be developed. This paper presents a data quality-control procedure aimed at verifying profile shapes and providing near-real-time data distribution. This procedure is specifically developed to 1) identify main issues of measurements (i.e., dark signal, atmospheric clouds, spikes, and wave-focusing occurrences) and 2) validate the final data with a hierarchy of tests to ensure a scientific utilization. The procedure, adapted to each of the four radiometric channels, is designed to flag each profile in a way compliant with the data management procedure used by the Argo program. Main perturbations in the light field are identified by the new protocols with good performances over the whole dataset. This highlights its potential applicability at the global scale. Finally, the comparison with modeled surface irradiances allows for assessing the accuracy of quality-controlled measured irradiance values and identifying any possible evolution over the float lifetime due to biofouling and instrumental drift.

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