A Sonobuoy-Sized Expendable Air-Deployable Directional Wave Sensor

by Marshall D. Earle, Neptune Sciences Inc, Slidell, United States,
Ralph H. Orton, Neptune Sciences Inc, Slidell, United States,
Harry D. Selsor, Neptune Sciences Inc, Slidell, United States,
Kenneth E. Steele, Neptune Sciences Inc, Slidell, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Ocean Wave Measurement and Analysis


Obtaining wave information from small expendable air-deployable buoys is important for numerous military operations, civilian applications, and research purposes. Such buoys may be deployed when and where wave data are needed. Under U.S. Navy sponsorship, a sonobuoy-sized expendable air-deployable directional wave sensor is being developed. Prototype buoys have been designed and three prototypes have been built for initial wave tank and field testing. Before deployment, the buoy is approximately 90 cm in length by 12 cm in diameter and weighs less than 30 lbs. A nitrogen-inflated floatation collar provides buoyancy after deployment. Small accelerometers, tilt sensors that respond to local acceleration including wave accleration, and a fluxgate compass are used as sensors for the prototypes. Directional wave information will be calculated within the buoy and transmitted to shore via ARGOS satellite using data compression techniques. Directional wave spectra at high frequencies will be used to estimate wind speed and direction to avoid use of an anemometer.

Subject Headings: Sensors and sensing | Water waves | Wave spectrum | Wave tanks | Wave spectra | Wave measurement | Satellites

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