The system's hardware comprises the AC power supply,
switch power supply unit, main control board, stepper motor, valve position sensor, XBT data-receiving unit, Ethernet
communication modules and other accessories. The system
self-test, status display, motor control, motor position detection, display terminal interaction and data communication
are mainly completed by the data acquisition and control
board. The signal transmitted from the XBT probe is modulated and amplifed by the XBT data receiver unit. The digital
data can be obtained by using an A/D converter, processed
and stored by the microprocessor. The measurement results
are transmitted to the data processor via the serial port.
The XBT probes are released by the main control panel,
with the control instructions sent by the data processor via
an RS-485 cable. Meanwhile, the real-time temperature data and GPS message are sent to the
data processor with RS-422 and RS-232 cables. In
general, there are at least three kinds of communication cables. To reduce the amount of cabling
and improve communication reliability, the serial
port server of NPort IA5000A produced by Moxa
(Brea, California) is used, which can convert three
serial ports to the Ethernet interface that connects
with the data processor. The server can protect the
system from electrical noise or voltage changes
with surge protection technology.
(Top) A sailor installing the probes. (Bottom) Software interface for control and acquisition.
control instructions, process the data acquisition feedback
information, receive GPS data, and acquire and plot water temperature data. Data communication with the remote
data center can also be done with the Ethernet interface.
36 st / December 2013
The system can be installed on any ship, including a variety of survey vessels and voluntary
observing ships. The system power supply voltage
is 220 volts AC, and power consumption is less
than 100 watts. The system is compatible with
the XBT probes produced by the National Ocean
Technology Center of China and the T7 probes produced by
Tsurumi-Seiki Co. Ltd. (Yokohama, Japan). Six XBT probes
can be controlled sequentially for launch, and each probe
can be shot or shut down by the user. If one probe fails, the
others are not affected, and the operation can continue.
Working mode options are manual launch and automatic launch. Automatic launching can be programmed ac-