Calibration procedure for Slocum glider deployed optical instruments

Ivona Cetinić*, Gerardo Toro-Farmer, Matthew Ragan, Carl Oberg, Burton H. Jones

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Recent developments in the field of the autonomous underwater vehicles allow the wide usage of these platforms as part of scientific experiments, monitoring campaigns and more. The vehicles are often equipped with sensors measuring temperature, conductivity, chlorophyll a fluorescence (Chl a), colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM) fluorescence, phycoerithrin (PE) fluorescence and spectral volume scattering function at 117 degrees, providing users with high resolution, real time data. However, calibration of these instruments can be problematic. Most in situ calibrations are performed by deploying complementary instrument packages or water samplers in the proximity of the glider. Laboratory calibrations of the mounted sensors are difficult due to the placement of the instruments within the body of the vehicle. For the laboratory calibrations of the Slocum glider instruments we developed a small calibration chamber where we can perform precise calibrations of the optical instruments aboard our glider, as well as sensors from other deployment platforms. These procedures enable us to obtain pre-and postdeployment calibrations for optical fluorescence instruments, which may differ due to the biofouling and other physical damage that can occur during long-term glider deployments. We found that biofouling caused significant changes in the calibration scaling factors of fluorescent sensors, suggesting the need for consistent and repetitive calibrations for gliders as proposed in this paper.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15420-15430
Number of pages11
JournalOptics Express
Issue number18
StatePublished - Aug 31 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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