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Discussion papers | Copyright
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2018-45
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 11 Jun 2018

Research article | 11 Jun 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Ocean Science (OS).

A Surface KInematics Buoy (SKIB) for wave-current interactions studies

Pedro Veras Guimarães1,2, Fabrice Ardhuin1, Peter Sutherland1, Mickael Accensi1, Michel Hamon1, Yves Pérignon2, Jim Thomson3, Alvise Benetazzo4, and Pierre Ferrant2 Pedro Veras Guimarães et al.
  • 1Ifremer, Laboratoire, d'Océanographie Physique et Spatiale (LOPS), IUEM, Brest, France
  • 2LHEEA lab – UMR6598, Ecole Centrale de Nantes
  • 3Applied Physics Lab, University of Washington, US
  • 4ISMAR, Venezia, Italy

Abstract. Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) and modern motion-sensor packages allow the measurement of ocean surface waves with low-cost drifters. Drifting along or across current gradients provides unique measurements of wave-current interactions. In this study, we investigate the response of several combinations of GNSS receiver, motion-sensor package and hull design in order to define a prototype surface kinematic buoy (SKIB) that is particularly optimized for measuring wave-current interactions, including relatively short wave components (relative frequency around 1Hz) that are important for air-sea interactions and remote sensing applications. The comparison with existing Datawell Directional Waverider and SWIFT buoys, as well as stereo-video imagery demonstrates the accuracy of SKIB. The use of low-cost accelerometers and a spherical ribbed and skirted hull design provide acceptable heave spectra, while velocity estimates from GNSS receivers yield a mean direction and directional spread. Using a low-power acquisition board allows autonomous deployments over several months with data transmitted by satellite. The capability to measure current-induced wave variations is illustrated with data acquired in a macro-tidal coastal environment.

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