ADCPs are instruments that measure the speed and direction of water currents. This instrument is used in conjunction with other instruments, such as Conductivity Temperature Depth (CTDs) measures, and with organism counting and collecting devices such as Video Plankton Recorders and trawls. Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers provide important information about water currents at the depths where animals live. This allows researchers to discover how currents may impact animal distribution and movement. ADCPs can be mounted on ships or moored in upward, downward, or sideways-looking configurations.
A close-up photograph of an ADCP instrument showing the four primary sensors. (Wood's Hole Oceanographic Institute)
The crew of a research vessel recover an ADCP. (Claudia Cenedese, Wood's Hole Oceanographic Institute)