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Aquadopp Profiler
400 kHz - 600 kHz - 1MHz - 2 MHz

The world's first 3rd generation shallow water current profiler

A quick glance at the Aquadopp Profiler - and you immediately know that you are looking at a new generation of current profilers. At 2.4 kg, you can carry 2 under each arm, you can deploy it with ease, and you can mount it in places you never dreamed of. But this is not a "stripped down" or "lite" current profiler - the Aquadopp Profiler provides quality data using the industry-standard autocovariance method to assure accurate and unbiased data, and it retains the classical advantages of acoustic Doppler systems including insensitivity to biofouling and no moving or protruding parts.

The Aquadopp Profiler is an inexpensive tool for shallow water measurements on time scales larger than 1 second. It gives you speed and direction in up to 128 different layers of the water column. The system electronics integrates Doppler velocity with temperature, pressure, tilt, and compass sensors - all standard with each instrument. The system also has built-in solid state recorder and batteries. State-of-the-art power management and miniaturized electronics combine in a compact single-canister design that is suitable for real-time operation or self-contained deployments.

The Aquadopp Profiler comes with a complete suite of Window 95/98/NT/2000 software for deployment planning, real time data collection and data retrieval. For special applications, the system can be operated from any third party controller using the RS232 or RS422 interface or your own PC program using Nortek ActiveX controls.


The Aquadopp Profiler is designed with flexibility in mind. Typical applications include shallow water oceanography (< 80 m water depth), harbor monitoring, and scientific studies in rivers, lakes, and channels. It can be deployed in small, low cost bottom frames, on a mooring rig, on a moored surface buoy or on any other fixed structure. The Aquadopp Profiler works equally well in typical ocean surface water and in the high sediment suspensions found near the coast or in rivers, and a variety of head designs ensure optimal measurement conditions regardless of deployment surroundings. The Aquadopp Profiler can be used in stand-alone mode with data recorded to the internal recorder or online, communicating via GSM or radio modem.

An application that has become very popular among scientists and engineers is collection of wave data (PUV) interleaved with the mean current profiles.

Nortek shipped the first Aquadopp Profilers in the summer of 2000 and today it is used by scientists and engineers at well-known oceanographic institutions in all corners of the world. Please contact Nortek or your local representative for a detailed customer reference list.

Wave Monitoring Performance

  • Sample wave height and direction at 1 or 2 Hz
  • The Aquadopp's silicone piezoresistive pressure sensor is perfectly suited to wave measurements (1 mm measurement resolution in 1-s)
  • Wave sampling and current profiling are independent
  • Wave sampling is optimized for PUV processing
  • Wave sampling is optimized to minimize battery consumption and data storage


  • Digitize external analog voltage inputs (such as OBS or CTD inputs)
  • Provide power to external sensors
  • Use in real time through cable, radio modems and acoustic modems
  • Implement real-time applications in a variety of ways
  • Custom transducers are easy and inexpensive
  • Adjustable power extends battery life in shallow water
  • Choose from internal alkaline and lithium battery packs or large capacity external battery cases (For more battery information, see Batteries.pdf)
  • Upgrade your Aquadopp current meter to make it a profiler

Key Specifications

  • Four acoustic frequencies: 400 kHz, 600 kHz, 1 MHz and 2 MHz
  • Profiling range (nominal): 60-90 m (400 kHz), 30–50 m (600 kHz), 12–25 m (1 MHz), 5–12 m (2 MHz)
  • Minimum cell size: 2m (400 kHz), 1 m (600 kHz), 0.3 m (1 MHz), 0.1 m (2 MHz)
  • Minimum blanking 1.0m (400 kHz), 0.5m (600 kHz), 0.2m (1 MHz), 0.05 m (2 MHz)
  • Horizontal velocity range: ±10 m/s (extended range available)
  • Accuracy: 1% of measured value ±0.5 cm/s
  • Sampling rate: 1 s to several hours
  • Compass (flux-gate, automatic up/down detection)
  • Tilt (liquid level, max 30° tilt)
  • Pressure (piezoresistive, resolution better than 0.005% of full scale)
  • Temperature (resistive)
External Sensors:
  • Two analog input channels (0-5V) can be input and integrated with the data structure
Data communication:
  • I/O: RS232 or RS422
  • Baud rate: 300 to 115200
  • User control: Handled via WIN32 software or ActiveX controls
Data Recording:
  • Capacity: 9 MB, upgradable with 24 MB, 76 MB or 152 MB extra boards
  • Data record: 32 bytes + 9×Ncells
  • Weight in air: 2.4 kg (2.6 kg for 0.6 MHz) with alkaline batteries
  • Weight in water: Neutral
  • Dimensions: 75 mm diameter, 550-600 mm length
  • Materials: Standard model in plastic, full ocean depth models (2000 m and 6000 m) in titanium and plastic
User choices:
  • Range for pressure range (default is 200 m)
  • Recorder size (default is 5 MB, 25 and 81 MB available)
  • External battery housing (5, 10, or 20 times standard battery capacity)
  • Internal wiring harness (RS232+synch+analog out, RS422+synch, or RS232+analog in)
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Useful links:
Configuration Demo
Custom Transducer Heads
Now available:
400 kHz version with 80-m range!

Evaluation of Current and Wave Measurements from a Coastal Buoy. OCEANS 2008
Pure coherent Doppler systems – how far can we push it? (Lohrmann et al., CMTC 2008)
Discharge in a shallow river
USBR Tracy Fish Facility
Wave directional spectra at Torrey Pines Beach
222 Severn Ave, Suite 17, Annapolis, MD 21403   Tel: 410-295-3733   Fax: 410-295-2918