The Moored Profiler

An instrument to acquire repeated observations 
of the time-varying ocean currents and water properties versus depth 
at fixed geographic positions

Photograph of a prototype Moored Profiler being readied for a pre-deployment check-out at the WHOI wharf.
Engineers Terry Hammar and Steve Liberatore attach the Profiler's retaining brackets about the mooring cable.

Introduction

A moored, water profiling instrument has recently been developed at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution with the support of the U.S. National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the WHOI Director's Discretionary Fund. The MP technology was licensed in 1988 to McLane Research Laboratories, Inc. of Falmouth MA who are now producing an operational version of the instrument. This site describes this new instrument, shows representative data, and provides details of recent scientific deployments. 

The WHOI Moored Profiler is designed to travel up and down a conventional subsurface oceanographic mooring carrying sensors to observe the water properties and ocean velocity at high-vertical resolution. It's design goal is to acquire vertical profile data of comparable quality to what can be obtained using ship-based, wire-lowered instruments. But being autonomous and self-propelled, the Moored Profiler allows such observations to be made over long times at remote, inclement sites. The MP system, in combination with drifting, gliding and/or self-propelled profiling instruments shows promise for efficient monitoring of future climatic ocean change. The instrument is already proving valuable in ocean process experiments.

Moored Profilers have to date been equipped with a Conductivity-Temperature-Depth (CTD) sensors for estimating the ocean's temperature and salinity as a function of pressure, and multi-axis, acoustic-travel-time current meters for measuring the ocean's velocity profile. Both are supplied by Falmouth Scientific, Inc. of Falmouth, MA. The fitting of additional or alternate sensors is straightforward.

To facilitate the widespread application of the Moored Profiler to research problems in ocean sciences, a shared-use pool of instruments has been created at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution as part of the WHOI Physical Oceanographic Observing Laboratory. This facility is also described below.

The Woods Hole Moored Profiler development program is under the direction of John Toole and Daniel Frye. Technical expertise for the development has been provided by Kenneth Doherty, Stephen Liberatore and other members of WHOI's Advanced Engineering Laboratory. Field operations have been supported by John Kemp and other members of the WHOI Rigging Shop and POOL. Margaret Cook, Ellyn Montgomery and Gwyneth Packard aid in the data processing and analysis efforts.



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