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L. A. Sromovsky
,
J. R. Anderson
,
F. A. Best
,
J. P. Boyle
,
C. A. Sisko
, and
V. E. Suomi

Abstract

An untended instrument to measure ocean surface heat flux has been developed for use in support of field experiments and the investigation of heat flux parameterization techniques. The sensing component of the Skin-Layer Ocean Heat Flux Instrument (SOHFI) consists of two simple thermopile heat flux sensors suspended by a fiberglass mesh mounted inside a ring-shaped surface float. These sensors make direct measurements within the conduction layer, where they are held in place by a balance between surface tension and float buoyancy. The two sensors are designed with differing solar absorption properties so that surface heat flux can be distinguished from direct solar irradiance. Under laboratory conditions, the SOHFI measurements agree well with calorimetric measurements (generally to within 10%). Performance in freshwater and ocean environments is discussed in a companion paper.

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L. A. Sromovsky
,
J. R. Anderson
,
F. A. Best
,
J. P. Boyle
,
C. A. Sisko
, and
V. E. Suomi

Abstract

The Skin-Layer Ocean Heat Flux Instrument (SOHFI) described by Sromovsky et al. (Part I, this issue) was field-tested in a combination of freshwater and ocean deployments. Solar irradiance monitoring and field calibration techniques were demonstrated by comparison with independent measurements. Tracking of solar irradiance diurnal variations appears to be accurate to within about 5% of full scale. Preliminary field tests of the SOHFI have shown reasonably close agreement with bulk aerodynamic heat flux estimates in freshwater and ocean environments (generally within about 20%) under low to moderate wind conditions. Performance under heavy weather suggests a need to develop better methods of submergence filtering. Ocean deployments and recoveries of drifting SOHFI-equipped buoys were made during May and June 1995, during the Combined Sensor Program of 1996 in the western tropical Pacific region, and in the Greenland Sea in May 1997. The Gulf Stream and Greenland Sea deployments pointed out the need for design modifications to improve resistance to seabird attacks. Better estimates of performance and limitations of this device require extended intercomparison tests under field conditions.

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