DART Project


As part of the DART experiment, satellite-trackes surface drifters are deployed in the central Adriatic Sea in the vicinity of the Gargano Peninsula to monitor surface currents and collect ancillary near-surface water propreties (e.g., SST, optical parameters).

The majority of the drifters are CODE designs, some of them including GPS receivers to increase the position accuracy and sampling rate. Two units are CODE drifters with a thermistor chain with 10 thermistors spanning the water column down to 50 m (CODE-Tz). Two drifters are SVP designs with radiometers to measure downwelling irradiance and upwelling radiances at visible wavelengths (SVP-OCM). The drifters are tracked by, and transmit data to, the Argos system onboard NOAA polar orbiting satellites. They were contributed by NURC and OGS.


Drifters are deployed in the vicinity of the Gargano Peninsula during the winter and summer 2006 sea trials onboard NRV Alliance. Drifter deployment strategy is optimized using statistical results obtained from Adriatic historical drifter data (Veneziani et al., 2006) and using numerical circulation models. The goal is to obtain drifter measurements as close as possible (in both space and time) to the other in-situ measurements (ship-based and moored) and to confine the drifter measurements to the study area in the western central Adriatic.


Michel Rixen (rixen@nurc.nato.int)
NATO Undersea Research Centre (NURC), La Spezia, Italy

Annalisa Griffa (agriffa@rsmas.miami.edu)
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, San Tenrenzo, Italy

Pierre Lermusiaux (pierrel@pacific.harvard.edu)
Havard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA


Veneziani, M. Historical drifter data and statistical prediction of particle motion: a case study in the central Adriatic Sea, Journal of Oceanic and Atmospheric Technology, accepted.


DART06 web page at NURC (password protected)

DART06 web page at HarvardGOS

For more information please contact P.-M. Poulain.