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Rain measurement on buoys using hydrophones

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1 Author(s)
Forster, J. ; FWG, Kiel, Germany

The impact of rain and spray on the ocean disturbs the sea surface and generates underwater ambient noise. The short scale roughness is influenced by impacting drops due to the momentum transfer. Radar and sonar signals are scattered by the short elements of the sea surface. Spray and rain impact change their characteristics, and consequently affect radar and sonar backscatter. In situ measurements of rain and spray impact are necessary to study their effects on the sea surface. Accurate sea measurements of rain momentum fluxes and drop size distributions are a complex problem, especially on buoys. A new measuring technique has been developed using hydrophones. Exposed to precipitation, these instruments are affected directly by the impact of rain. A drop falling on the hydrophone deforms its surface and is sensed by a piezoelectric transducer. The voltage output of the sensor is a rapidly decaying oscillation. The integral value of this signal is a measure of the drop momentum, and the drop size can be deduced. Laboratory studies of defined drops as well as field measurements of natural rain have shown that hydrophones can be used to determine drop momentums and drop size distributions. Based on simultaneous rain measurements by a Joss-Waldvogel Disdrometer and a hydrophone, an analytical function has been derived which relates drop size and hydrophone voltage output

Published in:

Oceanic Engineering, IEEE Journal of  (Volume:19 ,  Issue: 1 )