Principles of Oceanographic Instrument Systems -- Sensors and Measurements (13.998)

Three people winching large tripod off deck into ocean.

Several students prepare to launch instruments during the 2.693 cruise labs. The tripod frame holds instruments for measuring current, waves and water properties, with an acoustic command release and pop-up recovery float. See the labs page for additional photos. (Photo by Dr. Albert J. Williams 3rd.)


MIT Course Number


As Taught In

Spring 2004



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Course Features

Course Description

This course introduces theoretical and practical principles of design of oceanographic sensor systems. Topics include: transducer characteristics for acoustic, current, temperature, pressure, electric, magnetic, gravity, salinity, velocity, heat flow, and optical devices; limitations on these devices imposed by ocean environments; signal conditioning and recording; noise, sensitivity, and sampling limitations; and standards. Lectures by experts cover the principles of state-of-the-art systems being used in physical oceanography, geophysics, submersibles, acoustics. For lab work, day cruises in local waters allow students to prepare, deploy and analyze observations from standard oceanographic instruments.

James Irish, and Albert Williams III. 2.693 Principles of Oceanographic Instrument Systems -- Sensors and Measurements (13.998), Spring 2004. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare), (Accessed). License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

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