The Air-Sea Flux Stations (ASFS) sub-facility is responsible for open-ocean moorings that measure real-time meteorological and oceanographic conditions at the sea surface. In particular, the stations provide data on air-sea heat and moisture fluxes, which, when combined with meteorological data, are essential for climate change research. The continuous time series provided by the air-sea flux stations are particularly important because many of the processes that control heat and moisture fluxes exchange show variability on a wide range of time scales. ASFS aims to deliver high quality air-sea flux measurements on a near real-time basis.
Observations are obtained by the Southern Ocean Flux Station (SOFS) mooring in the Sub-Antarctic zone, south-west of Tasmania (46.75S 141E). The SOFS mooring has dual sets of radiometers, temperature and humidity sensors, precipitation gauges and sonic anemometers.
Data are broadcast via satellite back to Australia routinely. The observations are quality controlled at the Bureau of Meteorology and air-sea fluxes calculated using the COARE Bulk Flux algorithm. Daily files of 1-hourly averages of the observations and calculated bulk fluxes are generated shortly after 0200UTC and made available via the IMOS Ocean Portal.