Mean currents and turbulence, plus wave height, direction and ice tracking

  • Five beams for mean currents and turbulence
  • Wave height and direction
  • Acoustic ranging to ice
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  • The Signature500 ADCP is designed for flexibility. It measures current profiles at up to 8 Hz sampling frequency. It can also measure direct vertical velocity profiles, wave height and direction, and acoustic ranging to ice. The center beam also functions as a biological echosounder, enabling high-resolution measurements of biomass in the water column. All these features can be combined using Nortek’s patented concurrent mode technology.


  • Five beams for mean currents and turbulence
  • Wave height and direction
  • Acoustic ranging to ice


  • Turbulence studies
  • Tidal turbine operations
  • Studies of tidal currents
  • Sediment transport studies
  • Ice drift and draft studies
  • Vessel-mounted coastal surveying
  • Plankton migration studies
  • Biomass measurements
  • Directional wave measurements
  • Suitable for wave buoys

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    • Water velocity measurements

      Maximum profiling range1) 60 m (burst mode), 70 m (average mode)
      Cell size 0.5-4 m
      Minimum blanking 0.5 m
      Maximum number of cells 256 (burst)/200 (average)
      Velocity range (along beam) User-selectable 2.5 or 5.0 m/s
      Minimum accuracy 0.3% of measured value ± 0.3 cm/s
      Velocity precision Broadband processing, consult instrument software
      Velocity resolution 0.1 cm/s
      Max sampling rate 8 Hz (4 Hz using 5 beams)
    • HR option (on 5th beam only)

      Velocity range N/A
      Cell size N/A
      Profiling range N/A
      Range velocity limitations N/A
    • AD2CP measurement modes

      Single Burst or average
      Concurrent Burst and average
      Alternate Single and/or concurrent
    • Echo intensity (along slanted beams)

      Sampling Same as velocity
      Resolution/ dynamic range 0.5 dB / 70 dB
      Transducer acoustic frequency 500 kHz
      Number of beams 5; 4 slanted at 25°, 1 vertical
      Beam width 2.9°
    • Echo sounder option

      Resolution 6 mm - 0.5 m
      Number of bins 11,000
      Transmit pulse length 32 μs - 1 ms
      Transmit pulse Monochromatic or pulse compressed (25% BW)
      Resolution / dynamic range 0.01 dB / 70 dB
    • Wave measurement option

      AST frequency 500 kHz
      AST max distance 75 m
      Maximum wave measurement depth 60 m
      Height range -15 to +15 m
      Accuracy/resolution (Hs) < 1% of measured value / 2 cm
      Accuracy/resolution (Dir) 2° / 0.1°
      Period range 1-50 s
      Cut-off period (Hs) 5 m depth; 0.6 sec, 20 m depth; 1.1 sec, 60 m depth; 1.9 sec
      Cut-off period (dir) 5 m depth; 1.5 sec, 20 m depth; 3.1 sec, 60 m depth; 5.5 sec
      Sampling rate (velocity and AST) 4 Hz
    • Ice measurement option

      Parameters Acoustic ranging to ice, speed and direction, echo sounder data
    • Sensors

      Temperature: Thermistor in head (sampled at meas. rate)
      Temp. range -4 to +40 °C
      Temp. accuracy/resolution 0.1 °C/0.01 °C
      Temp. time response 2 min
      Compass: Solid State magnetometer (max 1 Hz samplerate)
      Accuracy/resolution 2° for tilt < 30°/0.01°
      Tilt: Solid State accelerometer (max 1 Hz sample rate)
      Accuracy/resolution 0.2° for tilt < 30°/0.01°
      Maximum tilt Full 3D
      Up or Down Automatic detect
      Pressure: Piezoresistive (sampled at meas. rate)
      Standard range 0-100 m (inquire for options)
      Accuracy/precision 0.1% FS / Better than 0.002% of full scale
    • AHRS option

      Accelerometer dynamic range ± 2 g
      Gyro dynamic range ± 250°/sec
      Magnetometer dynamic range ± 1.3 Gauss
      Pitch and roll range /resolution ± 90° (pitch) ± 180° (roll) /0.01°
      Pitch and roll accuracy ± 2° (dynamic)4), ± 0.5° (static, ±30°)
      Heading range / resolution 360°, all axis /0.01°
      Heading accuracy ± 3° (dynamic)4), ± 2° (static, tilt < 20°)
      Sampling rate Same as measurement rate (up to 8 Hz)
    • Data recording

      Capacity 16 GB, 64 GB or 128 GB (inquire for larger capacity)
      Data record Consult instrument software
      Mode Stop when full
    • Real-time clock

      Accuracy ± 1 min/year
      Clock retention in absence of external power 1 year. Rechargeable backup battery.
    • Data communications

      Ethernet 10/100 Mbits Auto MDI-X, TCP/IP, UDP/IP, HTTP protocols, Fixed IP / DHCP client /Auto IP address assignment, UPnP and Nortek proprietary instrument discovery over Ethernet
      Serial Configurable RS-232/RS-422 300-1250000 bps
      Recorder download baud rate 20 Mbit/s (Ethernet only) - 1 GB in 6 minutes
      Controller interface ASCII command interface over Telnet and serial
    • Connectors

      Depending on configuration MCBH6F (Ethernet), MCBH8F (serial), MCBH2F-G2 (pwr), optional Souriau M-series metal connector for online use (10M)
    • Software

      Functions Deployment planning, instrument configuration, data retrieval and conversion (for Windows®)
    • Power

      DC input 12-48 V DC
      Maximum peak current 1.5 A
      Max. average consumption at 1 Hz 8 W at 1 Hz, Ethernet adds 0.75 W
      Typical average consumption 25 mW
      Sleep consumption 100 μA, power depending on supply voltage
      Transmit power per beam 0.3-30 W, adjustable levels
      Ping sequence Parallel
    • Batteries

      Internal 180 Wh alkaline, 540 or 1800 Wh with long canister
      Duration Depending on configuration, consult software
    • Environmental

      Operating temperature -4 to +40 °C
      Storage temperature -20 to +60 °C
      Vibration IEC60068-2-64
      EMC approval IEC/EN 61000-6-2, 61000-6-3
      Depth rating 300 m (for 6000 m version, contact Nortek for specifications)
    • Materials

      Standard model POM with titanium fasteners
    • Dimensions

      Maximum diameter 228 mm
      Maximum length with room for internal batteries 274 mm (180 Wh), 464 mm (540 Wh or 1800 Wh Li)
      Maximum length without room for internal batteries 184 mm
    • Weight

      In air, no battery 6.4 kg (5.2 kg short)
      In water, no battery -0.35 kg (0.6 kg short)
      Battery 1.8 kg

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    • Main product



    • Probe type / Head


      5-beam head

    • Housing


      Standard, with room for 180 Wh internal battery


      Short, no room for battery


      Long, with room for 540 Wh battery

    • Memory


      16 GB SD card data logger


      64 GB SD card data logger

    • Pressure sensors


      Pressure sensor, 0-10 m, 0,1%


      Pressure sensor, 0-20 m, 0,1%


      Pressure sensor, 0-30 m, 0,1%


      Pressure sensor, 0-50 m, 0,1%


      Pressure sensor, 0-100 m, 0,1%


      Pressure sensor, 0-200m, 0,1%


      Pressure sensor, 0-500m, 0,1%


      Pressure sensor, 0-500m, 0,1% (Note: instrument depth rating is 300m)

    • Cables


      10m Ethernet cable with MCIL6MP, Power/RJ45 at dry end


      10-100m Ethernet cable (specify length in comments field) with MCIL6MP-PWR/RJ45


      10m Serial RS232 cable, MCIL8MP-DB12


      10m Serial RS232 cable, MCIL8MP-DB9 w/RS485 trigger


      Serial RS422 cable >10m (specify length in comments field), MCIL8MP-DB9


      Online cable, Souriau 10M open ended, (specify length in comments field)


      Online cable, Souriau 10M PWR/RJ45, max 100m, (specify length in comments field)

    • Other


      Compass and tilt sensor



    • Toggle all

    • Nortek Discover

    • Ocean Contour

      Data visualization and processing software

    • Serial to USB driver

      Virtual COM port driver to allow Nortek's serial-to-USB converters to function.

    • Signature 500

      Recommended upgrade. New features, fixes and functionality

    • Signature Deployment (Installer file)

      Deployment software for all Signature series instruments as an installer file. You may download it now and install later if needed. Use the Help menu "Check for updates" function to get the latest firmware and software versions. Should a 32bit be required it may be downloaded here.

    • Signature Deployment (Microsoft Store version - installer file)

      The installer file of Signature Deployment as available through Microsoft Store. Use the Help menu "Check for updates" function to get the latest firmware and software versions.

    • Signature Deployment (Microsoft Store version)

      Deployment software for all Signature series instruments available through Microsoft Store. Use the Help menu "Check for updates" function to get the latest firmware and software versions.

    • SignatureViewer

      Data viewer and post-processing software for Signature series instruments.

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