Directional Wave Spectra Drifter


Wave Drifter Schematic
Directional Wave Spectra Drifter

Technical Description

  • 35cm sphere surface float
  • GPS based tracking and wave engine
  • Iridium Short Burst Data (SBD) telemetry
  • Onboard datalogger with up to 16gb of storage
  • Fourier coefficients a0, a1, b1, a2, b2
  • 1/256 Hz bandwidth from 0.03Hz – 0.50Hz
  • User programmable sampling window
  • Sea Surface Temperature (±0.05K accuracy)
  • Freely drifting or restrained mooring configurations
  • 1 year lifespan

Wave Engine

The heart of the Directional Wave Spectra sensor is a high-performance GPS engine paired with in-house developed software algorithms for onboard computation of the Directional Wave Spectrum.

The Directional Wave Spectra sensor is designed as a turn-key solution for all wave monitoring requirements.

Hardware Concept

The Directional Wave Spectra drifter hardware utilizes the same concept as the SVP Drifter but without a drogue. The Directional Wave Spectra Drifter utilizes a field serviceable buoy hull that can be restrained for shallow water near-coastal applications or freely drift at the surface for open-ocean applications. All measurements collected can be logged onboard an optional microSD card and/or relayed to a shore station using Iridium SBD.

Data Quality

On-board processing enables computation of First-5 Directional Fourier coefficients a0, a1, b1, a2, b2. First-5 coefficients can be used to compute wave parameters such as significant wave height, swell direction, and directional spread, among others.

Intercomparison studies have been conducted in San Diego, California (mooring vs. Datawell DWR3), Gulf of Naples in Naples, Italy (mooring vs. RDI ADCP), Equatorial Pacific (spheres vs. Wave Watch III) and are ongoing.