Long-Term Surface Salinity Measurements
NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION WASHINGTON DC
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Our long-term goal is to establish a reliable system for monitoring surface salinity around the global ocean. Salinity has a great influence on air-sea interactions and is believed to have the potential for improving climate forecasts if an observation system can be developed. This project seeks to develop a new internal field conductivity cell that can be protected from biological fouling for two years. Combined with a temperature sensor, this foul-proof cell can be deployed widely on surface drifters. A reliable in-situ network of surface salinity sensors will be an important adjunct to the planned salinity sensing satellite to be deployed by NASA in a few years. A new internal-field conductivity cell has been developed by N. Brown, along with new electronics. This sensor system has been combined with a temperature sensor to make a conductivity-temperature CT sensor suitable for deployment on drifters. The basic sensor concepts have been proven on a high resolution CTD. A simpler, lower cost circuit has been designed for this application. A protection mechanism for the conductivity cell that includes antifouling protection has also been designed. Mr. A. Walsh of our commercial partner E-Paint has designed time-release formulations of antifoulants for our application. Mr. G. Williams of partner Clearwater Instrumentation is advising on power and communication issues for deployment of these sensors on surface drifters. This year we are running the performance tests on the new sensors.
- Physical and Dynamic Oceanography
- Test Facilities, Equipment and Methods