Many pilot projects and process studies have been planned, funded and launched in support of TPOS 2020 to advance knowledge, explore technical innovation, and lead to improvements in the effectiveness and efficiency of the TPOS. Click on the links below to learn more about some of these projects.

Pilot Projects

Pilot projects are a small-scale preliminary activity/study conducted in order to evaluate feasibility, cost, risks and sampling strategy ahead of a full-scale field campaign or sustained backbone implementation. They were initiated in support of the TPOS 2020 project starting in 2016 to advance the readiness of in situ observing platforms (e.g. floats, gliders, moorings) and assess their potential to address observational requirements and gaps in the tropical Pacific Ocean region. These projects were designed to develop, calibrate, and demonstrate the capability of instruments and platforms that may eventually be integrated into the sustained observing system.

Process Studies

Photo of Saildrone from Zhang et al. (2019).
The buoy tower top after assembly in Guam prior to loading aboard the M/V Bluefin.

Process studies were outlined in broad terms in the First and Second Reports to guide potential study areas that are needed to resolve phenomenological questions and provide better parameterisation for models. Studies at the northern and eastern edge of the Warm Pool were kicked off during the Years of the Maritime Continent study that took place in 2017-2019. Additional pre-field modeling studies were funded in 2019 in support of Pacific Upwelling and Mixing Physics (PUMP) and Air‐sea interaction at the eastern edge of the Warm Pool. The results these studies may point to future sustained observations or refinement of the Backbone sampling.

Fig. 2: SST distribution at 12 March 2020 with positions of the R/V Mirai (0, 161.0˚E)and 2 Wave Gliders (0, 158.0˚E and 0, 162.5˚E)
Fig. 2: SST distribution at 12 March 2020 with positions of the R/V Mirai (0, 161.0˚E)and 2 Wave Gliders (0, 158.0˚E and 0, 162.5˚E)
Model domain with bathymetry. Dashed white lines bound the region in which observations were assimilated. TAO moorings are shown as orange and blue markers, with the blue ones indicating the moorings that were used for the plots in Figure 2. The mooring data were not assimilated but are used for independent comparisons.
Location of SPURS-2 mooring displayed on the ocean precipitation field from GPCP satellite data. The SPURS-2 mooring and the meteorological instruments. Releasing the rawinsondes that make the atmospheric boundary layer measurements during one of the cruises.
Is your TPOS-related project not listed? Let us know!

Note – In some cases, the target period of the pilot projects and process studies is wholly within the timeframe of TPOS 2020, while in other cases the period may go beyond 2020.