Hull-Mounted Sea Surface Temperatures from Ships of Opportunity

W. J. Emery Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado

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K. Cherkauer Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado

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B. Shannon Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado

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R. W. Reynolds Coupled Model Project, National Centers for Environmental Prediction, Washington, D.C.

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Abstract

The design and deployment of an inexpensive hull temperature sensor and data logger system was undertaken for the purpose of improving the measurement of sea surface temperature (SST) by ship-of-opportunity merchant vessels. The resulting hull sensors and data logger systems were installed on four merchant vessels and one research vessel. A variety of installations tested the effects of placement and insulation on the temperature sensors themselves. The resulting hull SST data were compared with monthly SST analyses using optimal interpolation (OI) as well as with data from the thermosalinograph (TSG) on board the research vessel. The data collected from the hull sensor systems, while being slightly offset from the TSG data (likely due to a TSG calibration problem), were found to be in excellent agreement with the monthly OI data.

* Current affiliation: University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Bill Emery, CCAR, University of Colorado, Box 431, Boulder, CO 80309.

Email: emery@frodo.colorado.edu

Abstract

The design and deployment of an inexpensive hull temperature sensor and data logger system was undertaken for the purpose of improving the measurement of sea surface temperature (SST) by ship-of-opportunity merchant vessels. The resulting hull sensors and data logger systems were installed on four merchant vessels and one research vessel. A variety of installations tested the effects of placement and insulation on the temperature sensors themselves. The resulting hull SST data were compared with monthly SST analyses using optimal interpolation (OI) as well as with data from the thermosalinograph (TSG) on board the research vessel. The data collected from the hull sensor systems, while being slightly offset from the TSG data (likely due to a TSG calibration problem), were found to be in excellent agreement with the monthly OI data.

* Current affiliation: University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Bill Emery, CCAR, University of Colorado, Box 431, Boulder, CO 80309.

Email: emery@frodo.colorado.edu

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  • Kent, E. C., B. S. Truscott, P. K. Taylor, and J. S. Hopkins, 1991: The accuracy of ship’s meteorological observations, results of the VSOP-NA. WMO/TD-No. 455, 86 pp. [Available from Southampton Oceanography Centre, European Way, Southampton SO14 32H, United Kingdom.

  • Reynolds, R. W., and T. M. Smith, 1994: Improved global sea surface temperature analysis using optimum interpolation. J. Climate,7, 929–948.

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  • ——, and ——, 1995: A high-resolution global sea surface temperature climatology. J. Climate,8, 1571–1583.

  • Saur, J. F. T., 1963: A study of the quality of sea water temperatures reported in logs of ships weather observations. J. Appl. Meteor.,2, 417–425.

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