General Assembly of partners of the iFADO project and operational activities in Azores

The General Assembly of partners of the European iFADO (Innovation in the Framework of the Atlantic Deep Ocean) Project, which belongs to the Interreg Atlantic Programme and which is designed mainly to detect and cover the gaps in existing observation in the framework of the Atlantic Deep Ocean, was held in Horta (Azores).

The Assembly meets semi-annually in order to evaluate the progress of the tasks developed in the work plan and to execute operational and dissemination activities. This Assembly includes an open day, a workshop on new ocean observation technologies within the framework of MSFD (Marine Strategy Framework Directive),  operational activities to deploy different glider technologies and the General Assembly of partners of the iFADO  Project.

iFADO is a four-year project, co-ordinated by the IST (Instituto Superior Técnico of Portugal) with the participation of twenty partners from both the public and private sector, from Portugal, Ireland, United Kingdom, Spain and France. The main purpose of iFADO is to detect and cover gaps in existing observation matters in the Atlantic Deep Ocean. To such end, it uses the Framework Directive on Marine Strategy (DMEM) and it is implemented by applying innovative products.

PLOCAN is responsible for work package five, concerning emerging technologies for in-situ oceanic monitoring, such as autonomous platforms (gliders), developing missions between Ireland and Spain including Azores, Madeira and the Canary Islands.

With respect to operational activities within the framework of iFADO project, two glider missions will be developed in Horta. On one hand, a local mission that will last two weeks near to the Condor Marine Reserve, located southwest of Horta, using a Slocum glider in order to measure biogeochemical variables in seawater to a depth of up to 1,000 metres. On the other hand, a WaveGlider autonomous surface vehicle will be launched, fitted with sensors for measuring biogeochemical variables and developing acousting monitoring of cetaceans. It is expected to cover 1,000 nautical miles during three months between Horta and Gran Canaria.

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