22 Nov 2022
22 Nov 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal GI.

Development of an Expendable Current Profiler Based on Modulation and Demodulation

Keyu Zhou1, Qisheng Zhang1, Guangyuan Chen2, Zucan Lin1, Yunliang Liu2, and Pengyu Li1 Keyu Zhou et al.
  • 1School of Geophysics and Information Technology, China University of Geosciences (Beijing), Beijing 100083, China
  • 2School of Marine Science and Engineering, Shandong University of Science and Technology, Qingdao 266000, China

Abstract. We designed a low-cost expandable current profiler including software and hardware. An expendable current profiler (XCP) is an observation instrument that rapidly measures currents based on the principle that currents cut the geomagnetic field to induce electric fields. It is important to reduce the cost of an XCP because it is a single-use device. The digitization of the previously developed XCP is carried out underwater, which requires the probe to contain not only analogue circuits for acquiring signals but also digital circuits and digital chips, which are relatively expensive. In this study, an XCP has been developed that adopts signal modulation and demodulation to transmit analogue signals on an enamelled wire, and the signal digitization occurs above the surface of the water. The cost of the instrument is effectively reduced by half while maintaining the ability to measure parameters such as sea current and temperature in real-time. After comparison with data processed from laboratory tests, the acquisition circuit showed accuracy within one-thousandth of one per cent, and the XCP analogue circuit developed for the overall system was stable and reliable. The system exhibited an acquisition accuracy higher than 50 nV for 16 Hz, and the quality of the acquired signal met the requirements for an XCP instrument.

Keyu Zhou et al.

Status: open (until 10 Jan 2023)

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Keyu Zhou et al.

Keyu Zhou et al.


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Short summary
The expendable current profilers (XCP) is a single-use instrument that rapidly measures currents, including the velocity, flow direction and temperature of seawater. This study improves upon the design of XCP to reduce the cost of the single-use devices. This has been achieved by adopting signal modulation and demodulation to transmit analog signals on an enamelled wire and digitizing the signal above the surface of the water.