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The results of a general theoretical investigation of three commonly used types of inductive conductivity sensors, i.e., the single transformer, the double transformer, and the double transformer with an additional loop, are presented. The resulting formulas describe the dependence of the sensor output signal not only on the conductivity of the seawater but also on the parameters of the electrical circuit, among them the permeability of the transformer core(s), which-unlike the other parameters-shifts considerably during oceanographic in situ measurements. A mathematical discussion of these formulas shows that for certain circuit configurations, the sensor output is independent of changes in permeability. Most of these configurations form the basis of existing oceanographical conductivity sensors, among them the "classical" sensors developed by H. Hinkelmann , , and by N. L. Brown , while some others make evident further possibilities for eliminating the unwanted effects of shifting permeability. In the era of microelectronics, the latter might lead to a reassessment, especially of the single transformer-type sensor.
Date of Publication: Apr 1985