The use of autonomous vehicles for spatially measuring mean velocity profiles in rivers and estuaries
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Autonomous vehicles (AVs) are commonly used in oceanic and more recently estuarine and riverine environments because they are small, versatile, efficient, moving platforms equipped with a suite of instruments for measuring environmental conditions. However, moving vessel observations, particularly those associated with Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) measurements, can be problematic owing to instrument noise, flow fluctuations, and spatial variability. A range of ADCPs manufactured by different companies were integrated on to an Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV), an Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUV), and some additional stationary platforms and were deployed in a number of natural riverine and estuarine environments to evaluate the quality of the velocity profile over the depth, minimum averaging time interval requirements, and AV mission planning considerations. Measurements were obtained at fixed locations to eliminate any spatial variations in the mean flow characteristics...
The article of record as published may be located at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11370-011-0095-6