A Low-Cost Digital XBT System and its Application to the Real-Time Computation of Dynamic Height

W. J. Emery Department of Oceanography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C., V6T 1W5, Canada

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W. Lee Institute of Marine Science, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, AL

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W. Zenk Institut für Meereskunde, 2300 Kiel 1, West Germany

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J. Meincke Institut für Meereskunde, 2000 Hamburg 13, West Germany

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Abstract

An XBT interface is described for use with Commodore and other 6502 based microprocessors. This interface takes the form of a single circuit board mounted inside the microcomputer and is completely software controlled. The application of this digital XBT system to the real-time computation of density and dynamic height, using historical or recent temperature-salinity relationships, is also described. Comparison between XBT and CTD measured temperatures from the Northeast Atlantic yield a mean temperature difference of −0.08°C and an rms temperature difference of 0.33°C for the upper 800 m. Examples of dynamic topography maps and a temperature section computed using this technique are also presented and comparison between objectively analyzed XBT and CTD dynamic topographies demonstrates the reliability of the method for mapping the baroclinic flow.

Abstract

An XBT interface is described for use with Commodore and other 6502 based microprocessors. This interface takes the form of a single circuit board mounted inside the microcomputer and is completely software controlled. The application of this digital XBT system to the real-time computation of density and dynamic height, using historical or recent temperature-salinity relationships, is also described. Comparison between XBT and CTD measured temperatures from the Northeast Atlantic yield a mean temperature difference of −0.08°C and an rms temperature difference of 0.33°C for the upper 800 m. Examples of dynamic topography maps and a temperature section computed using this technique are also presented and comparison between objectively analyzed XBT and CTD dynamic topographies demonstrates the reliability of the method for mapping the baroclinic flow.

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