Field evaluation of ocean wave measurements with GPS buoys
Colbert, David B.
Herbers, Thomas H.C.
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An intercomparison of Datawell accelerometer buoys, Datawell GPS buoys, and prototype GPS buoys was conducted to determine the viability of using off-the-shelf GPS receivers to measure ocean surface waves. In the experiment, conducted off the coast of California near Bodega Bay, clusters off Datawell and prototype GPS buoys were deployed to collect ocean surface wave measurements. The first phase of the research was an intercomparison of wave measurements from a Datawell accelerometer sensor, the Magellan MMCX GPS receiver and the GlobalSat MR-350 GPS receiver. The Datawell accelerometer and the Magellan MMCX receiver measurements of both vertical and horizontal wave orbital excursions are in good agreement. The GlobalSat MR-350 receiver also accurately resolved horizontal wave orbital displacements but failed to reproduce the vertical wave excursion measurement by the accelerometer sensors. The second phase of the project was an independent intercomparison between the Datawell MK-II accelerometer buoys, Datawell Waverider GPS buoys, and the prototype GPS buoys built by the NPS team using the Magellan MMCX receiver. The intercomparison showed good agreement between the off-the-shelf GPS buoys, the newer Datawell GPS buoys as well as the traditional Datawell accelerometer buoys in the energetic part of the wave spectrum.
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