Comparative Performance of Radar, Laser, and Waverider Buoy Measurements of Ocean Waves. Part II: Time-Domain Analysis

Pramod Kumar Jangir aDepartment of Infrastructure Engineering, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia

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Kevin C. Ewans aDepartment of Infrastructure Engineering, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
bMetOcean Research Ltd., New Plymouth, New Zealand

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Ian R. Young aDepartment of Infrastructure Engineering, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia

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Abstract

Accurate measurements of ocean waves underpin efficient offshore operations and optimal offshore structure design, helping to ensure the offshore industry can operate both safely and economically. Popular instruments used by the offshore industry are the Rosemount WaveRadar (Radar) and the Waverider Buoy. The Optech Laser has been used at some locations for specific studies. Recent reports indicate systematic differences of order 10% among the wave measurements made by these instruments. This paper examines the relative performance of these instruments based upon various time-domain comparisons, including results from a quality control (QC) procedure, capabilities of measuring the wave surface profile (skewness), and crest heights for varying wind sea and swell conditions. The QC check provides good-quality data that can be further investigated with an assurance of error-free data, suggesting that the Waverider produces the best-quality data with the lowest failure rate compared to the Laser and Radar. A significant number of the Waverider surface elevation records have negative skewness, particularly at higher sea states, affecting its crest height measurements, which are lower than those from the Laser and Radar. Additionally, the significant wave height (H1/3) estimates of the Radar are lower than the Laser and Waverider, but its zero-crossing wave periods (TZ), on average, are longer than the Laser and the Waverider. The significant heights (H1/3) of Laser and Waverider are in good agreement for all three datasets, but the Waverider’s zero-crossing wave period (TZ) estimates are significantly longer than the Laser.

© 2023 American Meteorological Society. This published article is licensed under the terms of the default AMS reuse license. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Pramod Kumar Jangir, pjangir@student.unimelb.edu.au

Abstract

Accurate measurements of ocean waves underpin efficient offshore operations and optimal offshore structure design, helping to ensure the offshore industry can operate both safely and economically. Popular instruments used by the offshore industry are the Rosemount WaveRadar (Radar) and the Waverider Buoy. The Optech Laser has been used at some locations for specific studies. Recent reports indicate systematic differences of order 10% among the wave measurements made by these instruments. This paper examines the relative performance of these instruments based upon various time-domain comparisons, including results from a quality control (QC) procedure, capabilities of measuring the wave surface profile (skewness), and crest heights for varying wind sea and swell conditions. The QC check provides good-quality data that can be further investigated with an assurance of error-free data, suggesting that the Waverider produces the best-quality data with the lowest failure rate compared to the Laser and Radar. A significant number of the Waverider surface elevation records have negative skewness, particularly at higher sea states, affecting its crest height measurements, which are lower than those from the Laser and Radar. Additionally, the significant wave height (H1/3) estimates of the Radar are lower than the Laser and Waverider, but its zero-crossing wave periods (TZ), on average, are longer than the Laser and the Waverider. The significant heights (H1/3) of Laser and Waverider are in good agreement for all three datasets, but the Waverider’s zero-crossing wave period (TZ) estimates are significantly longer than the Laser.

© 2023 American Meteorological Society. This published article is licensed under the terms of the default AMS reuse license. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Pramod Kumar Jangir, pjangir@student.unimelb.edu.au
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