Revealing environmental characteristics of the western Pacific
“We wanted to get the deep ocean current velocity of the westward currents of the western Pacific and to reveal the hydrodynamic environmental characteristics of this region,” says Yu Fei.
Therefore, it was important to obtain actual measurements in the ocean to capture the variability in the current structure. It was also important to obtain current measurement in 3D – not just 2D – in order to understand the formation and variability of low-latitude Western Boundary Currents.
“At the same time, these measurements can reveal low-frequency variations in the control processes of warmer waters, thus improving our understanding of the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and east Asia monsoon seasonal forecasting,” Fei adds.
Longer current profiling range and ease of deployment
The testing area is east of the Philippines in the western Pacific. Scientists at the Institute of Oceanology in Qingdao will retrieve the current profiler in November 2016, after a deployment of approximately one year. The deployment is done with the Signature55 in a sub-surface buoy on a mooring line and the instrument is operated in a stand-alone measurement mode.
Yu Fei emphasizes that compared with other instruments of the same kind, the Signature55 has twice the current profile range and can profile currents up to 1000 m range in the open ocean.
“The Signature55 has the advantages of a longer current profiling range, being easier to deploy and giving us better value for money compared to other options,” Yu Fei concludes.