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V. V. Sterlyadkin, K. V. Kulikovsky, A. V. Kuzmin, E. A. Sharkov, and M. V. Likhacheva

Abstract

A direct optical method for measuring the “instantaneous” profile of the sea surface with an accuracy of 1 mm and a spatial resolution of 3 mm is described. Surface profile measurements can be carried out on spatial scales from units of millimeters to units of meters with an averaging time of 10−4 s. The method is based on the synchronization of the beginning of scanning a laser beam over the sea surface and the beginning of recording the radiation scattered on the surface onto the video camera matrix. The heights of all points of the profile are brought to a single point in time, which makes it possible to obtain “instantaneous” profiles of the sea surface with the frequency of video recording. The measurement technique and data processing algorithm are described. The errors of the method are substantiated. The results of field measurements of the parameters of sea waves are presented: amplitude spectra and distribution of slopes at various spatial averaging scales. The applied version of the wave recorder did not allow recording capillary oscillations, but with some modernization it will be possible. The method is completely remote, does not distort the properties of the surface, is not affected by wind, waves, and sea currents, and allows you to measure the proportion of foam on the surface. The possibility of applying the proposed method at any time of the day and in a wide range of weather conditions has been experimentally proven.

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