The design of the global Argo Array requires a 3 x 3 degree spacing of instruments between 60 ˚S and 60 ˚N, equivalent to 3300 floats.
The map below shows the total number of active floats in the global Argo array. At any one time, a small proportion of floats in the array will be located in marginal seas, iced over, beached, returning bad data, or no data at all. A useful metric of the global array status is the number of floats returning good data, referred to as “Operational floats”. Argo has met or exceeded its design density only in the mid-latitudes and the northern hemisphere. There is a shortfall of floats in the Southern hemisphere; therefore this region is a priority area for new float deployments.