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Calibration of a seawater sound velocimeter


We calibrated a sound velocimeter to a precision of +/- 0.034 m/s using Del Grosso's sound-speed equation for seawater at temperatures of 2, 7.2, 11.7, and 18 degrees C in a tank of seawater of salinity 33.95 at one atmosphere. The sound velocimeter measures the time-of-flight of a 4-MHz acoustic pulse over a 20-cm path by adjusting the carrier frequency within a 70-kHz band until the pulse and its echo are inphase. We used the adjustable carrier frequency to determine the internal timing characteristics of the sound velocimeter to nanosecond precision. Similarly, sound-speed measurements at four different temperatures determined the acoustic pathlength to micrometer precision. The velocimeter was deployed in the ocean from the surface to 4500 dbar alongside conductivity, temperature, and pressure sensors (CTD). We demonstrated agreement of +/- 0.05 m/s (three parts in 10(5))-with CTD-derived sound speed using Del Grosso's seawater equation from 500 to 4500 dbar after removing a bias and a trend.

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