Field experiences with a new miniature vector averaging current meter
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For several years Inst. of Marine Research Bergen has been developing miniaturized modular current meters. Thanks to major improvements in electronic component technology in recent years, a physically small current meter can now be designed with processing and recording capacity which is comparable to much larger instruments. The paper describes the design and field performance of a new miniaturized vector averaging "Mini" current meter which can measure and record up to 6000 data sets. Via a built in two way optical data communication system all recorded data in the instrument can be transferred to a PC in less than 30 s. In an intercomparision experiment during May 1991 two "Mini" current meters were moored close to two Aanderaa RCM-7 current meters. The instruments were positioned 20 and 28 meters from the surface in a region where the current speed varied from 0 - 20 cm/s. Technically the new instruments functioned well and in accordance with their design specifications. The intercomparision showed that all of the RCM-7 and the "Mini" current meters when compensated for a minor directional offset in one instrument - responded almost identically to current speeds between 4- 14 cm/s. Beyond 14 cm/s the "Mini" current meters showed a slightly higher current speed.