Heat Flow - Thermal Conductivity

The FT580 heat flow system has been designed to work as a standalone system, or as an add-on sensor to our range of piston, gravity and vibrocorers. High resolution digital data can either be collected in real time using an umbilical cable or logged internally for retrieval when the instrument is recovered to the vessel.

Heat flow systems are used in many industries including environmental impact, gas hydrate stability analysis, renewable power cable design and lithospheric research and much more.

Our heat flow system measures the thermal gradient used to calculate thermal conductivity/resistivity of marine sediment. To achieve this various parameters are collected including probe insertion acceleration and inclination, water temperature, the heat pulse energy administered and the marine sediment temperature at defined depths (0.5m increments as standard but our system will provide ultra-high resolution data up to 0.05m spacing).

The system is designed to be very simple to operate and it is automated wherever possible. The basic operational principle is as follows:

  1. Insert probe into the seabed, this can be done using a Feritech gravity, piston or vibrocorer
  2. Wait while automatically monitoring the residual heat from friction during probe insertion, once dissipated the test can begin
  3. Heat pulse is administered. This is a very accurately measured dose of energy that heats up the ground
  4. Record the temperature at each node along the array to allow the temperature decay curve to be plotted at each point
  5. Extract the probe and recover to the vessel, the thermal parameter data is downloaded or shown in real time when connected using an umbilical.
Thermal heat flow profile

We have used custom ground-breaking electronics to provide a digital system that provides ultra-high resolution, super accurate data. Sensor length and node spacing can be customised for specific projects.

The system can also be setup and deployed for long term passive measurement surveys with a battery of up to two years long term monitoring of seabed temperatures are possible.

Download the Heat Flow datasheet to find out more, or get in touch with our experienced team to discuss your project or requirements.

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Product Highlights

  • High resolution internal logging or real time connection to the surface control system
  • Rated for use in up to 6000m water depth
  • Deployed as a standalone system or integrated into our gravity, piston or vibrocorer
  • Sensor array length to customer specification (standard lengths of 1m 3m and 6m)
  • Sensing node spacing to customer specification (standard spacing is 0.5m, minimum is 0.05m)
  • Temperature sensor data resolution of <0.001⁰C in the range of -2⁰C to 30⁰C
  • Temperature accuracy of ±02⁰C
  • Water temperature -2⁰C to 30⁰C accurate to 0.02%
  • Water depth 0-6000m with a 1m resolution accurate to 0.1% full scale
  • Inclination sensor 0⁰-359° in three axis accurate to 1°
  • Acceleration sensing
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Autonomous Deployment

The measurement and heating elements are controlled by the onboard module and powered by an integral battery pack.

Heat Flow Vector

Vibrocorer Deployment

When integrated into our Vibrocorer system, the Heat Flow equipment can be used in much tougher ground conditions.

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Gravity Corer Deployment

The Heat Flow probe can be deployed using our Gravity Corer either in autonomous mode or in “real time” mode.