The industry standard for Wave measurements is to use a buoy moored freely in the ocean transmitting data to shore or a nearby platform. This method has operational limitations that in many cases require other solutions. For offshore use, several other solutions based on down-looking radars or lasers exist and work reliably, depending upon location. Also systems based on using horizontally looking radars, even standard X-band ships’ radars have been used as well as up-looking ADCP sensors and pressure sensors.
Wave Buoy sensors
A+D can recommend several types of Wave Buoys with complete mooring systems designed for specific water depths. Additional parameters, such as Sea Temperature and others can be added upon request as well as tracking devices to avoid loss of buoy.
Onboard Wave sensors—radar sensors
Wave measurements using a down looking narrow beam radar is a well proven method offshore and will usually give very good results providing that an installation site with an unobstructed view of the waves can be found. Radar sensors, complete with installation frames are available to measure Wave Height and Period.
Onboard Wave sensor—ADCP sensors:
ADCP Sensors with Wave measurements can be deployed over the side of the vessel/rig by a winch and davit arrangement or deployed using a guideline frame arrangement. These systems will measure both Wave Height, Period and Direction as well as Surface Current Speed and Direction.
Onboard Wave sensor—Horizontal radars:
Wave measurements can also be done by extracting the wave data from horizontal radars installed onboard the vessel, even by extracting data from a standard X-band ships’ radar. These systems will typically measure both Wave Height, Period and Direction and possibly also Surface Current Speed and Direction.