Nortek AS is a scientific instrumentation company that develops and distributes water velocity instruments. Our products are based on the acoustic Doppler principle and span from single point turbulence sensors to long range current profilers. Our customers are scientists, research institutions, and consulting engineers, all with demanding applications requiring state-of-the-art instrumentation that is reliable and easy to use.
Our main office is about 15 km south of Oslo, Norway and this is where we do development, product assembly and testing. In addition, we have subsidiaries in the US, UK, China, and the Netherlands, each with technical staff. In other areas, our products are distributed by regional representatives.
We currently ship close to 1000 instruments per year and our instruments are in use in more than 75 countries around the world.
During the period 1996-1999, Nortek and SonTek operated under a mutual agreement whereby Nortek did business primarily in Europe and Asia and SonTek did business primarily in North and South America. Today, there is no formal or informal relationship between the two companies, nor are there any common elements in the respective hardware and software. Nortek operates in all countries but development and manufacturing is still based in Norway.
These provide sales, support, and services. The organization has about 60 full time employees and more than 15 have advanced degrees.
The hardware, firmware, and software that forms the basis for the various product lines have been developed by engineers still employed by the company. We expect this situation to continue, although we see an increasing trend also in development to outsource development tasks that are better and faster done by external consultants.
Since the start, Nortek has enjoyed an annual revenue growth of 20-25% per year. The annual revenue of Nortek AS for the first time hit US$ 10 mill in 2006.
Nortek has a versatile product range and it can be divided into several groups, each with separate applications.
Our Current profilers measure current speed and direction in multiple layers throughout the water column. Nortek makes current profilers with ranges from a few cm in 'High Resolution (HR)' mode to several hundred meters. Our current profilers are also used as operational vessel mounted systems. Shallow water current profilers can both measure the currents and the wave height / direction for engineering applications.
Current meters measure the water current at only one level. Current meters are simple to use and appropriate when only one point is required, if price is important, or to cover great depths on mooring lines. The Aquadopp current meter is small in size while extremely powerful as a sampling system.
Velocimeters belong to a special class of high-resolution 3D instruments used to study rapid velocity fluctuations in the laboratory or in the ocean. These instruments use focused beams to measure with high sampling rates in a small point.
Wave systems measure both wave height and direction, in addition to current profiles. As opposed to surface wave buoys Nortek's wave sensors are out of harms way, and due to this they are ideal for areas with ship traffic or fishing activity. The wave systems are mounted on the bottom, on a frame, or on a subsurface buoy.
Vessel Mounted Current Profilers
A current profiler that is mounted to a ship can measure the current profile while the ship is moving. Ship motion is corrected for either by using bottom tracking firmware that measures the motion over ground directly, or by using input from the ships gyro and a GPS receiver. Nortek's vessel-mounted software takes care of the data correction, and presents the corrected current profiles graphically.