In the new Aquadopp Z-Cell, Nortek has extended the profiling range by introducing a "Cell Zero". This new feature is generated by an extra set of horizontal transducers for a total of 6 ceramic elements. The transducers operate at a different frequency (2 MHz) and provide the 2D current velocity at the level of the instrument.
The near-instrument data loss in traditional current profilers comes from the combination of mounting height, the electroacoustic blanking and the offset of the first measurement cell. In many applications this means that valuable and interesting information about the ocean current is lost. The Z-cell solves this problem by measuring the horizontal velocity at the level of the instrument.
The Aquadopp Z-cell can be mounted in the frame on the bottom or in a surface buoy. Preliminary studies show that the surface current can be quite different from what is normally observed 2-3 m below the surface. The addition of an extra cell is thus not merely "nice to have" but can have a profound impact on how we view and analyze currents.