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SIMB3 Detailed Specifications

Quick Summary

Seasonal Ice Mass Balance Buoy 3 (SIMB3) is a 4.87 meter long, 12 cm diameter spar-type buoy that measures how sea, lake, or pond ice change thickness through time. Once deployed, SIMB3 uses two ice-facing acoustic rangefinders to measure how the surrounding ice grows and melts. It also measures the vertical profile of temperature through the air, snow, ice, and water, as well as air temperature, barometric pressure, and GPS location.

SIMB3 can measure ice up to 3 meters thick and snow up to 0.5 meters thick. It is equipped with a sealed battery and can operate autonomously for up to 1.5 years. Using an Iridium satellite modem, SIMB3 is capable of operating in anywhere in the world, transmitting data on user defined intervals (usually 1 or 4 hours). Immediately after transmission, data is uploaded to the Real-Time Data Portal for viewing and download.

Dimensions

Fully Assembled

Length: 4.87 m (16 ft)
Diameter: 12 cm (4.5 in)
Weight: 75 kg (34 lbs)

Crated with box top (as shipped)

Length: 2.43 m (96 in)
Width: 33 cm (13 in)
Height: 30 cm (12 in)
Weight: 57 kg (125 lbs)

Crated without box top

Length: 2.43 m (96 in)
Width: 33 cm (13 in)
Height: 20 cm (8 in)
Weight: 39 kg (85 lbs)

Other

Distance between sounders: 4.051 m
Distance above freeboard: ~ 1.2 m

Top

A wireframe top view of SIMB3

Bottom

A wireframe bottom view of SIMB3

Profile

A wireframe side view of SIMB3
(A) Downward looking rangefinder
(B) Upward looking rangefinder
(C) Digital temperature chain
(D) Air temperature sensor
(E) Barometric pressure sensor
(F) Ocean temperature sensor
(E) GPS sensor

Measurements captured

A

Ice/snow surface position

From a fixed position 1.2 meters above the ice surface.

B

Ice bottom position

From a fixed position below the ice.

C

Temperature profile

At 2 cm intervals through the air, snow, ice, and into the water. 192 values in total.

D

Air temperature

At 1.2 m above the surface.

E

Barometric pressure

At 1.2 m above the surface.

F

Ocean temperature

From a fixed position below the ice.

G

GPS position

From a fixed position 1.2 meters above the ice surface

?

Auxillary

Contact us to inquire about non-standard sensor options.
Note: other diagnostic data such as battery voltage, transmission counter, and Iridium/GPS satellite count are also transmitted. For more details, see Getting Started with the SIMB3 datasheet..

Standard Sensor Suite

Instrument
Description
Accuracy
Precision
Maxbotix MB7374
Downward looking rangefinder
+/- 0.001 m
0.01 m
Airmar EchoRange +
Upward looking rangefinder
+/- 0.01 m
0.01 m
Bruncin DTC (3.85 m)
Digital temperature chain
+/- 0.5 deg C
0.125 deg C
DS18B20
Air temperature sensor
+/- 0.5 deg C
0.0625 deg C
BME280
Barometric pressure sensor
+/- mBar
0.1 mBar
MTK3339 GPS
GPS module
3 m
~ 0.1 m

Operational Considerations

Measurement range

Ice: 0 to 3 m*
Snow: 0 to 0.5 m
Temperature range: -60 to 60 C

Lifespan

Battery life: up to 1.5 years**
Service domain: worldwide***

Deployment

Tools required for assembly: none****
Time required: < 30 min
Min Ice hole diameter: 25.4 cm (10 in)
* SIMB3 is buoyant, fully waterproof, and does not rely on the ice for mechanical support. Operation or deployment in open water is therefore possible, however results may vary.

** battery service life can vary significantly depending on the environment and equipped instruments.  

*** transmission over the Iridium network requires a clear view of the sky.

**** while SIMB3 can be assembled without tools, an ice-auger is still required to drill the ice hole, a drill/screwdriver is required to remove the box top, and and a tape measure is recommended for recording initial ice and snow thickness and freeboard measurements.

Data Specifications

Transmission

Message protocol: Iridium SBD
Standard Message size: 275 bytes
Max message size: 340 bytes
Transmission interval: user defined

Data Availability

Time from transmission: ~ 5 min
Data format: CSV
Access: the Real-Time Data Portal or FTP

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