List of questions about parameters & options on Ocean Contour

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List of questions about parameters & options on Ocean Contour

Posted by Camille Couzi at January 05. 2018

Good morning Nortek,

I am loading a 2week deployment data from a 1000kHz Signature and using Ocean Contour (OC) to view and process the data. My raw file is called TestData.ad2cp.

I have read the OC user manual, as well as the Signature User guide and Principles of Operation, and these are the questions for which I can’t find answers anywhere:

1.  Raw data – looking at TestData.Avg.OCTS

1.1 When selecting the ancillary data plots, what are the following time series:

1.1.1 “Status” and “Extended status”; and what’s the different between the two

1.1.2  “Water Temperature” and “Pressure Sensor Temperature”. I understand that the “Water temperature” is the data collected by the thermistor, but what’s the second??

1.1.3  Question about the Magnetometer: is this a component that is inside the Signature body? I can see that there is a time serie for “Magnetometer Temp”. Does this mean that there is a thermistor near the magnetometer?

1.1.4 “Error”: what is this?



2.       1.2. When selecting the text view of the ancillary data: what is “RTC (C)”? Is this the real time clock? What’s the unit of RTC?



3.       1.3  When selecting the AD2CP configuration: under the “Avg” tab, does “Channel mapping” on 1 mean that the Signature is doing the bin mapping and 0 that it’s not? If this is right, I am not understanding how it’s possible that my data set shows 0 in Channel Mapping and Coordinate System is ENU…



 2. QA QC:

2.1. During the whole deployment, the Pitch was around -6 and the Roll was above 11degrees.

According to the Principles of Operation, “if the tilt is large (greater than 10 degrees) then a post processing option such as ‘map to vertical’ is encouraged”, page 37. However this option is not in OC, and in the manual it says “This processing stage will be expanded in the future to include other features such as bin mapping and compass re-calibration.” Page 23.

Could you tell me when the map to vertical option will be updated in the OC?

2.2 OC under guide page 23: what is the difference between ENU Speed and ENU Velocity?

Similarly, what’s the difference between Burst speed and Burst velocity?

3. Processing

3.1.  Is there a way to easily export all the Processed data (Burst and Avg) in one click?

3.2. Is there a way to easily export all the plots in one click (Avg, Burst; PG speeds directions, correlations…; all anciliary time series; raw and processed)


Thanks in advance for all the answer,




Re: List of questions about parameters & options on Ocean Contour

Posted by Robert Craig at January 05. 2018

Hi Camille:
    A lot of the answers to your questions can be found in chapter 6 of the AD2CP System Integrator's Guide (downloadable from here which describes the raw data format and contents.

1.1.1 The Status / Extended Status (Status0 in the guide) are bit-wise elements that are expanded into user readable format by the "Display Status Data" data display (the flashlight).

1.1.2 The pressure sensor has an incorporated temperature sensor.  This is used mainly to assess the health of the pressure sensor.

1.1.3 The magnetometer is indeed a component on the Signtaure electronics board.  The Magnetometer Temperature series is a direct reading of this sensor (not converted into Celsius) and is used to assess the health of the magnetometer.

1.1.4 The error word is another bit-wise data element and is described in the system integrators manual (page 55).  A non-zero value indicates that some form of internal error has occurred.

2.  The RTC data you mention is plotted in the graph "Component Temperatures" and represents the temperature of the real-time clock component (in Celsius). Again, this can be used to assess the health of the component.

3. The AD2CP configuration shows the parameters that were used to configure the instrument (not related to data processing). The Channel Mapping parameter refers to which beams were selected for use when the instrument was collecting data (also described in the Integrator's Guide).  0 is the default value.


2.1 The bin mapping functionality will be released in the next version of Ocean Contour (tentatively scheduled for the next quarter of this year).

2.2 "Velocity" data uses earth co-ordinates to describe the current (East, North, Up1, Up2).  "Speed" data takes the ENU data and calculates the velocity magnitude and direction from it.
This calculation is the same for Avg data and Burst data.

3 Processing

3.1  On import, the Burst data and the Avg data are stored in separate data files.  To export all of the data in the files, right click on either the OCSEG or OCTS file in the Projects window and select the appropriate format (Matlab or NETCDF). If you export the OCSEG file, all of the corresponding OCTS files referenced by the OCSEG file will be exported.

3.2 By "export the plots", I'm guessing that you mean produce image files (?)  To produce image files for all of the displayed data, select Report: Generate Images from the main menu.  The image files produced are stored in a sub-directory of the Images folder.


  Hope that helps,

         Robert Craig.

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