Test Deployment: Point Conception, CA 1998

Deck of the R/V Robert Gordon Sproul showing both instrumented buoys.
The acoustic bubble measurements buoy is aft, the turbulence measurement buoy is forward.

Both the turbulence spar buoy and bubble spar buoy were operated in an autonomous drifting mode offshore Point Conception, CA. Buoys were deployed and recovered daily using the R/V Sproul. Our sampling

scheme was to deploy the buoys in the morning and allow them to drift with the surface currents and sample the upper ocean as the seas increased under the afternoon sea-breeze. Point Conception is an ideal location for study breaking waves since the winds in this area will typically reach 30 kts with significant wave heights reaching 3m. The buoys were recovered each evening and the batteries were charged and data offloaded each night. For three days we also conducted overflights of the MASS system out of the LOMPOC airport. Offshore and long-shore flight patterns were set to include the drifting buoys in the field of view.

Measurements and tests performed:

  • ADV performance beneath breaking waves
  • Motion package performance: rate sensors,tilt meters, accelerometers, compass
  • Sonic anemometers
  • Fast-response thermistor chain
  • 3 MHz upward looking acoustic Doppler profiler (ADP)
  • Ship-buoy 900 MHz telemetry system
  • Recovery/deployment schemes of instrumented buoys in high seas
  • Acoustic bubble measurements
  • Ambient noise generated by breaking waves
  • MASS overflights

deck of R/V Sproul
Waiting for Deployment


Deployment of Turbulence Buoy

Data Collection