Currents play an important role in an aquatic ecosystem, carrying nutrients and biology or transporting heat.
By means of a dedicated transceiver and transducer, Simrad has added acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) functionality to the EK80 scientific echo sounder.
Scattering from particles in the water will produce doppler effects when moving, which can be measured and turned into a profile of vertical and horizontal velocity over time.
The ADCP functionality may also be used to measure the velocity of fish in the water column. For instance, the velocity of fish moving away from an approaching boat can be measured.
With the introduction of the very first combined split-beam echo sounder and ADCP, the EK80 system manifests its position as the most complete instrument for ecosystem assessments.
The EK80 once again confirms its position as the leading scientific instrument for the measurements of aquatic ecosystems. With the EC150-3C transducer, the EK80 repeats its performance as an innovative acoustic system. It combines the absolute backscatter measurements from the split-beam echo sounder with physical oceanographic measurements from the acoustic doppler current profiler (ADCP) beams. And it all happens in one single instrument.
The acoustic doppler profiler (ADCP) and narrow split-beam functionality offered by the EK80 system are based on the EC150-3C transducer. The EC150-3C is a phased array transducer with advanced transceiver circuitry inside. The common EK80 user interface is used for operational control. You can use the EK80 and the EC150-3C transducer as a "stand-alone" system. You can also add the EC150-3C to an existing EK80 system by simply connecting the additional unit to your Ethernet switch.
The EC150-3C is provided with a dedicated power supply to feed the built-in electronic circuitry. The transducer is easily installed using mounting- and clamping rings. The open-ended cable between the transducer and the power supply is provided with the delivery.
This screen capture presents four typical views from an EK80 system using the EC150-3C transducer and ADCP functionality. The top three views present the current water velocity in the north/south, east/west, and vertical (down/up) directions. The colours indicate the water speed as specified by the colour scale. The bottom view contains the traditional echogram provided by the four ADCP beams. In this view, the colours indicate the backscatter intensity.
Water column profiling
In addition to the backscatter measurements, the EK80 offers accurate current velocity measurements. The speed and direction of the currents throughout the water column are measured and presented as a function of the depth. This offers a valuable tool for understanding how organisms, nutrients, and other biological and chemical constituents are transported through the ocean. The information can also help understand how climate changes affect how warm water is transported through the oceans. Physical current measurements can also improve models for how the sea currents behave. This improves various forms of the ocean and meteorological forecasts.