Mobile distributed temperature sensing of the air–water interface of an aquatic environment with an unmanned surface vehicle
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|Created:||Mar 31, 2018 at 7:37 p.m.|
|Last updated:|| Apr 09, 2018 at 8:39 p.m.
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Aquatic habitats have a boundary layer near the air–water interface (AWI) that governs mass transport. Little is known about temperature profiles and boundary layers at the AWI. We used a high-resolution distributed temperature sensing (HR-DTS) system onboard an unmanned surface vehicle (USV) to resolve temperature profiles from about 1 m above and 1 m below the surface of the water. Our USV–HR-DTS system resolved a temperature differential of about 5.5 °C at the AWI, spanning a distance of approximately 13 cm. DTS profiles were similar for stationary holds and forward and reverse transects in the water. There was a significant change in temperature as a function of height, with an exponential decrease in temperature starting around 13 cm down to the AWI (P = 2 × 10−16). This is the first application of a HR-DTS onboard a USV to examine temperature profiles across the AWI. To our knowledge, these are the first high-resolution temperature profiles of the AWI captured from a mobile platform. Because our USV–HR-DTS system is mobile, it could be used to profile temperatures at the AWI at multiple locations in a large body of water. This technology could also find unique applications in the measurement of meteorological drivers of hazardous agent dispersal for source localization efforts.
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