Instrumented Tow Cable Measurements of Temperature Variability of the Water Column

  • Anthony A. Ruffa
  • Michael T. Sundvik


The Instrumented Tow Cable (ITC) measures the temperature variability of the water column with a spatial resolution of ½ meter along the cable and a temporal resolution on the order of 100 seconds. The ITC is a modification of a conventional steel-armored tow cable, involving the replacement of three outer steel armor wires with stainless steel tubes containing optical fibers. The overall cable diameter is unchanged, and there is otherwise no significant impact to the mechanical properties of the cable. The ITC survived all standard mechanical ruggedness tests, including long stroke cyclic bending over a 46-inch diameter sheave under tensions up to 22,500 lb. Temperature sensing is derived from Raman scattering effects in the optical fibers. In lake tests, the standard deviation against XBTs was found to be approximately 0.3 °C for repeated runs. Sea test data from the shelf-slope front south of New England mapped the location of the front within 150 m of the sea surface and showed indications of internal waves.


Internal Wave Stainless Steel Tube False Color Image Bathymetric Contour Armored Cable 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anthony A. Ruffa
    • 1
  • Michael T. Sundvik
    • 1
  1. 1.Naval Undersea Warfare Center DivisionNewportUSA

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