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Metadata Report for BODC Series Reference Number 808717

Metadata Summary

Data Description

Data Category Meteorology -unspecified
Instrument Type
Vaisala HMP temperature and humidity sensor  meteorological packages
Vaisala PTB100 barometric pressure sensor  meteorological packages
Vaisala WAA151 cup anemometer  anemometers
Vaisala WAV151 wind vane  anemometers
Didcot/ELE DRP-5 PAR sensor  radiometers
Instrument Mounting research vessel
Originating Country United Kingdom
Originator Dr Stuart Cunningham
Originating Organization Southampton Oceanography Centre (now National Oceanography Centre, Southampton)
Processing Status banked
Online delivery of data Download available - Ocean Data View (ODV) format
Project(s) Rapid Climate Change Programme

Data Identifiers

Originator's Identifier D279_PRODQXF_MET
BODC Series Reference 808717

Time Co-ordinates(UT)

Start Time (yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm) 2004-04-04 16:43
End Time (yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm) 2004-05-08 23:59
Nominal Cycle Interval 120.0 seconds

Spatial Co-ordinates

Start Latitude 26.49330 N ( 26° 29.6' N )
End Latitude 27.28080 N ( 27° 16.8' N )
Start Longitude 78.91810 W ( 78° 55.1' W )
End Longitude 15.42170 W ( 15° 25.3' W )
Positional Uncertainty 0.05 to 0.1 n.miles
Minimum Sensor or Sampling Depth -
Maximum Sensor or Sampling Depth -
Minimum Sensor or Sampling Height -
Maximum Sensor or Sampling Height -
Sea Floor Depth -
Sea Floor Depth Source -
Sensor or Sampling Distribution -
Sensor or Sampling Depth Datum -
Sea Floor Depth Datum -


BODC CODERankUnitsTitle
AADYAA011DaysDate (time from 00:00 01/01/1760 to 00:00 UT on day)
AAFDZZ011DaysTime (time between 00:00 UT and timestamp)
ALATGP011DegreesLatitude north relative to WGS84 by unspecified GPS system
ALONGP011DegreesLongitude east relative to WGS84 by unspecified GPS system
CAPHZZ011MillibarsPressure (measured variable) exerted by the atmosphere
CDTASS011Degrees CelsiusTemperature of the atmosphere by dry bulb thermometer
CRELSS011PercentRelative humidity of the atmosphere by humidity sensor
CSLRRP011Watts per square metreDownwelling vector irradiance as energy of electromagnetic radiation (solar (300-3000nm) wavelengths) in the atmosphere by port-mounted pyranometer
CSLRRS011Watts per square metreDownwelling vector irradiance as energy of electromagnetic radiation (solar (300-3000nm) wavelengths) in the atmosphere by starboard-mounted pyranometer
DVLTRSSD1VoltsRaw signal (voltage) of instrument output by starboard-mounted PAR cosine-collector radiometer
DWIRSOLA1Watts per square metreDownwelling vector irradiance as energy of electromagnetic radiation (350-1100nm wavelengths) in the atmosphere by cosine-collector radiometer
EWDASS011Degrees TrueDirection (from) of wind relative to True North {wind direction} in the atmosphere by in-situ anemometer
EWSBSS011Metres per secondSpeed of wind {wind speed} in the atmosphere by in-situ anemometer

Definition of Rank

  • Rank 1 is a one-dimensional parameter
  • Rank 2 is a two-dimensional parameter
  • Rank 0 is a one-dimensional parameter describing the second dimension of a two-dimensional parameter (e.g. bin depths for moored ADCP data)

Problem Reports

No Problem Report Found in the Database

RAPID Cruise D279 Underway Meteorology Data Quality Report

Solar radiation

Data from the port channel are more reliable than from the starboard. It is thought that the starboard sensor was suffering from ingress of moisture during the cruise. This caused it to log large readings, even at night. The decision was made not to merge port and starboard sensor data due to this fault.

The starboard sensor was stable for the first part of the cruise, but was particularly unreliable during the following periods: 15 April 15:00 to 19 April 10:30; 25 April 05:00 to 18:30; 26 April 17:30 until the end of the cruise. The sensor cables between port and starboard sensors were swapped on 25 April at 18:30 until 17:30 the following day. Data from the port sensor were noticeable more noisy during this period.

Data from the starboard sensor have been flagged during periods when the port sensor is reading zero, ie at night. In addition, any values over 2000 have been flagged N (Null) as these are well outside the limits of natural variability. However, the user should be aware that the remaining unflagged data may also be suspect and should be used with caution. During periods when the starboard sensor was stable and in good agreement with the port sensor, it was used as a screening aid so that drops in the port signal were flagged if the starboard signal was strong, indicating shadows on the port side.

Wind speed and direction

Although wind data were corrected to remove the effects of ship movement, there are residual effects still present in the data. Where obvious, these have been flagged suspect.

Data Access Policy

Open Data supplied by Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)

You must always use the following attribution statement to acknowledge the source of the information: "Contains data supplied by Natural Environment Research Council."

Narrative Documents

Vaisala Analog Barometers Models PTB100 (A), (B) and PTB101 (B), (C)

The PTB 100 series analog barometers are designed both for accurate barometric measurements at room temperature and for general environmental pressure monitoring over a wide temperature range. The long-term stability of the barometer minimizes the need for field adjustment in many applications.

Physical Specifications

Size 97 x 60 x 22 mm
Weight 85g

The barometers use the BAROCAP* silicon capacitive absolute pressure sensor developed by Vaisala for barometric pressure measurements. The BAROCAP* sensor combines the elasticity characteristics and mechanical stability of a single-crystal silicon with the proven capacitive detection principle.

Sensor Specifications

Model Number Pressure Range
Temperature Range
Humidity Range Total Accuracy
PTB100A 800 to 1060 -40 to +60 non-condensing +20 °C ± 0.3 mbar
0 to +40 °C ± 1.0 mbar
-20 to +45 °C ± 1.5 mbar
-40 to +60 °C ± 2.5 mbar
PTB100B 600 to 1060 -40 to +60 non-condensing +20 °C ± 0.5 mbar
0 to +40 °C ± 1.5 mbar
-20 to +45 °C ± 2.0 mbar
-40 to +60 °C ± 3.0 mbar
PTB101B 600 to 1060 -40 to +60 non-condensing +20 °C ± 0.5 mbar
0 to +40 °C ± 1.5 mbar
-20 to +45 °C ± 2.0 mbar
-40 to +60 °C ± 3.0 mbar
PTB101C 900 to 1100 -40 to +60 non-condensing +20 °C ± 0.3 mbar
0 to +40 °C ± 1.0 mbar
-20 to +45 °C ± 1.5 mbar
-40 to +60 °C ± 2.5 mbar

* BAROCAP is a registered trademark of Vaisala

Vaisala Temperature and Relative Humidity HMP Sensors

A family of sensors and instruments (sensors plus integral displays or loggers) for the measurement of air temperature and relative humidity. All are based on a probe containing a patent (HUMICAP) capacitive thin polymer film capacitanece humidity sensor and a Pt100 platinum resistance thermometer. The probes are available with a wide range of packaging, cabling and interface options all of which have designations of the form HMPnn or HMPnnn such as HMP45 and HMP230. Vaisala sensors are incorporated into weather stations and marketed by Campbell Scientific.

All versions operate at up to 100% humidity. Operating temperature ranges vary between models, allowing users to select the version best suited to their requirements.

Further details can be found in the manufacturer's specification sheets for the HMP 45 series, HMP 70 series and HMP 230 series.

Vaisala WA15 Wind Set

The WAA151 combines a WAA151 anemometer and a WAV151 wind vane, to measure wind speed and direction.

WAA151 Anemometer

The anemometer has three lightweight conical cups in the cup wheel. A wind-rotated chopper disc, attached to the cup wheel's shaft, cuts an infrared light beam 14 times per revolution, generating a pulse output from a phototransistor. The output rate can be regarded as directly proportional to the wind speed. However, for the best accuracy, a transfer function is used to compensate starting inertia and slight over-speeding:

Uf = 0.328 + 0.101 x R, where Uf = wind speed and R = output pulse rate

A thermostatically controlled heating element in the shaft tunnel prevents the bearings from freezing in cold environments.

WAV151 Wind Vane

The WAV151 is a counter-balanced optelectronic wind vane. Infrared LEDs and phototransistors are mounted in six orbits around a 6 bit Gray coded disc. Turned by the vane, the disc determines the code received by the phototransistors.


  WAA151 Anemometer WAV151 Wind Vane
Measurement range 0.4-75 m s-1 0-300° (at 0.4-75 m s-1)
Starting threshold < 0.5 m s-1 < 0.4 m s-1
Resolution - ±2.8°
Accuracy ±0.17 m s-1 (within range 0.4-60 m s-1) < ± 3°
Output 0-750 Hz square wave 6 bit parallel Gray code
Operating temperature -50°C to 55°C -50°C to 55°C

Further details can be found in the manufacturer's specification document.

Didcot Cosine Photosynthetically Available Radiation (PAR) sensors

The silicon cell, blue glass filter and diffuser are bond together using optically clear adhesive, the complete assembly is mounted into the black anodised body and sealed using the same adhesive. The body has a raised rim to provide to provide low angle cosine correction and holes within the rim to provide drainage for surface water which would otherwise affect the instrument's accuracy. Model DRP-5 has an integral clamp to mount on a vertical mast tube, model DRP-5B has round base with three leveling screws and is intended to stand on a flat surface and model DRP-4 has a built in integrator to record total PAR received over a period of time.

Technical Information

Sensor Reference DRP-5 DRP-5B DRP-4
Spectral Range
0.35 to 0.7 0.35 to 0.7 0.35 to 0.7
Cosine error at 10°
± 3 ± 3 ± 3
Typical Output at 1kW/m2
12.00 12.00 integrator
Resolution 2 W/m2 2 W/m2 1 W/h/m2
Response Time to 63%
0.01 0.01 0.01
Temperature Range
-40 to 70 -40 to 70 -20 to 70

RAPID Cruise D279 Underway Meteorology Instrumentation

Meterological data were collected with a Vaisala QLI50 sensor collector (s/n: R381005) using the sensors as detailed in the table below.

Sensor Serial number Last calibration date
Didcot/ELE Solarimeter sensor (Port) 1843B -1-35901 07/10/2003
Didcot/ELE PAR (DRP-5) sensor (Starboard) Unknown -
Kipp and Zonen Pyranometer (TIR) sensors 994133 (Port), 994132 (Starboard) 25/02/2003
Vaisala PTB100A (barometric pressure) sensor S3610008 19/02/2003
Vaisala HMP44L (air temperature and relative humidity) sensor U1850012 12/02/2003
Vaisala wind vane (WAV) S21208 -
Vaisala anemometer (WAA) P50421 -

RAPID Cruise D279 Underway Meteorology Processing

Originator's processing

Sea surface meteorology measurements were made by the UKORS Surfmet system. Onboard processing was carried out on a daily basis and involved running a sequence of executable programs. The initial stage transferred the underway surfmet data into PSTAR from RVS format. An additional executable was run to determine the true wind speed and direction, taking account of the ship's motion and velocity. Finally, Julian Day time variable data were calculated and the resulting data examined by plotting on a daily and weekly basis.

BODC Processing

Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR)

It was discovered during the cruise that the port PAR sensor was, in fact, a solarimeter. As the port and starboard sensors were different types, the data could not be merged to produce the best signal. In addition, the starboard sensor output remains uncalibrated as the sensor serial number (and therefore calibration coefficients), was unknown.

Solar Radiation

The port and starboard data have not been merged due to problems with the starboard sensor.

Wind speed and direction

Wind speed and direction were corrected on board for ship's motion.

RAPID Cruise D279 Underway Meteorology, Surface Hydrography and Navigation Series

Cruise details

Dates 4 April 2004 - 10 May 2004
Principal Scientific Officer Dr Stuart Cunningham (SOC)
Cruise Report Cunningham, S. A., 2005. RRS Discovery Cruise D279 04 APR - 10 MAY 2004. A Transatlantic hydrography section at 24.5°N. Southampton, UK, National Oceanoraphy Centre Southampton.(National Oceanography Centre Southampton Cruise Report No. 54).

D279 travelled from Freeport in the Bahamas across the Atlantic to Tenerife in Spain. After initially focussing on the collection of chemical data from the Florida Current at 27°N, the main focus of the cruise was the collection of hydrographic data across the Atlantic Ocean between approximately 24 and 27.5°N.

It should be noted that the data series supplied by the originator covers 04 April to 08 May 2004, which is less that the duration of the cruise.

Data Processing Procedures

Two minute averaged sea surface hydrographic and meteorological data, together with navigation and bathymetric files, were transferred from PSTAR format into BODC internal format (QXF), using time (UTC) as the primary linking key, to allow use of the in-house visualisation tool (EDSERPLO). Reformatting and data calibration was carried out, and is discussed in the individual instrument sections. Each data channel was visually inspected and any spikes or periods of dubious data flagged as suspect. The capabilities of the workstation screening software allows comparative screening checks between channels.

The qxf file then underwent a further step. This involved using Matlab to split the qxf file into three separate qxf files. One contained data for hydrography, one for meterological data and the final qxf file held the navigation data.

Project Information

Rapid Climate Change (RAPID) Programme

Rapid Climate Change (RAPID) is a £20 million, six-year (2001-2007) programme of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). The programme aims to improve our ability to quantify the probability and magnitude of future rapid change in climate, with a main (but not exclusive) focus on the role of the Atlantic Ocean's Thermohaline Circulation.

Scientific Objectives

  • To establish a pre-operational prototype system to continuously observe the strength and structure of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (MOC).
  • To support long-term direct observations of water, heat, salt, and ice transports at critical locations in the northern North Atlantic, to quantify the atmospheric and other (e.g. river run-off, ice sheet discharge) forcing of these transports, and to perform process studies of ocean mixing at northern high latitudes.
  • To construct well-calibrated and time-resolved palaeo data records of past climate change, including error estimates, with a particular emphasis on the quantification of the timing and magnitude of rapid change at annual to centennial time-scales.
  • To develop and use high-resolution physical models to synthesise observational data.
  • To apply a hierarchy of modelling approaches to understand the processes that connect changes in ocean convection and its atmospheric forcing to the large-scale transports relevant to the modulation of climate.
  • To understand, using model experimentation and data (palaeo and present day), the atmosphere's response to large changes in Atlantic northward heat transport, in particular changes in storm tracks, storm frequency, storm strengths, and energy and moisture transports.
  • To use both instrumental and palaeo data for the quantitative testing of models' abilities to reproduce climate variability and rapid changes on annual to centennial time-scales. To explore the extent to which these data can provide direct information about the thermohaline circulation (THC) and other possible rapid changes in the climate system and their impact.
  • To quantify the probability and magnitude of potential future rapid climate change, and the uncertainties in these estimates.


Overall 38 projects have been funded by the RAPID programme. These include 4 which focus on Monitoring the Meridional Overturning Circulation (MOC), and 5 international projects jointly funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, the Research Council of Norway and NERC.

The RAPID effort to design a system to continuously monitor the strength and structure of the North Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation is being matched by comparative funding from the US National Science Foundation (NSF) for collaborative projects reviewed jointly with the NERC proposals. Three projects were funded by NSF.

A proportion of RAPID funding as been made available for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) as part of NERC's Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI). The SBRI aims to stimulate innovation in the economy by encouraging more high-tech small firms to start up or to develop new research capacities. As a result 4 projects have been funded.

Data Activity or Cruise Information


Cruise Name D279
Departure Date 2004-04-04
Arrival Date 2004-05-10
Principal Scientist(s)Stuart A Cunningham (Southampton Oceanography Centre)
Ship RRS Discovery

Complete Cruise Metadata Report is available here

Fixed Station Information

No Fixed Station Information held for the Series

BODC Quality Control Flags

The following single character qualifying flags may be associated with one or more individual parameters with a data cycle:

Flag Description
Blank Unqualified
< Below detection limit
> In excess of quoted value
A Taxonomic flag for affinis (aff.)
B Beginning of CTD Down/Up Cast
C Taxonomic flag for confer (cf.)
D Thermometric depth
E End of CTD Down/Up Cast
G Non-taxonomic biological characteristic uncertainty
H Extrapolated value
I Taxonomic flag for single species (sp.)
K Improbable value - unknown quality control source
L Improbable value - originator's quality control
M Improbable value - BODC quality control
N Null value
O Improbable value - user quality control
P Trace/calm
Q Indeterminate
R Replacement value
S Estimated value
T Interpolated value
U Uncalibrated
W Control value
X Excessive difference

SeaDataNet Quality Control Flags

The following single character qualifying flags may be associated with one or more individual parameters with a data cycle:

Flag Description
0 no quality control
1 good value
2 probably good value
3 probably bad value
4 bad value
5 changed value
6 value below detection
7 value in excess
8 interpolated value
9 missing value
A value phenomenon uncertain
Q value below limit of quantification