Project NTAS - Northwest Tropical Atlantic Station for air-sea flux measurement
The primary science objectives of the NTAS project are to determine the in-situ fluxes of heat, moisture and momentum, and then to use these in-situ fluxes to make a regional assessment of flux components from numerical weather prediction models and satellites.
The scientific objectives will be addressed through analysis of observations from a surface mooring deployed near 15° N, 51°W. The NTAS site is at the eastern edge of the Guiana Abyssal Gyre/Meridional Overturning Variability (GAGE/MOVE) Experiment mooring array and can be considered a westward extension of the Pilot Research Moored Array in the Tropical Atlantic (PIRATA).
The NTAS Surface Mooring
A surface mooring with sensors suitable for the determination of air-sea fluxes and upper ocean properties was deployed by the Upper Ocean Processes Group at 14 50' N, 51 00' W on 30 March 2001. The three-meter discus buoy was outfitted with two complete sets of Air-Sea Interaction Meteorology (ASIMET) systems. Each system measures, records, and transmits via Argos satellite the surface meteorological variables necessary to compute air-sea fluxes of heat, moisture and momentum.
The upper 120 m of the mooring line is outfitted with oceanographic sensors for the measurement of temperature and velocity. This is a multi-year occupation of the site, with the mooring being refurbished at annual intervals.