Profiler for AOPs: C-OPS

C-OPS (Compact-Optical Profiling System) is a radiometer system for determining apparent optical properties in aquatic systems. It consists of two 7 cm diameter radiometers: one measures in-water upwelling radiance, and the other either downward irradiance or upward irradiance, pressure/depth, and tilt. Both radiometers are equipped with up to 19 optical wavebands and are mounted on a unique free-fall backplane. In addition, avoiding any influence from the shadow of the boat, the frame can be optimized for either slow descent rates for work in very shallow (e.g., 3 m) and coastal waters, or faster descent rates for observations in the open ocean. Available accessories include above-water reference irradiance instruments to measure global irradiance, a “BioSHADE” shadowband assembly for making diffuse irradiance measurements, and a “BioGPS” for providing GPS position and time. C-OPS is so lightweight it can be hand deployed by almost anyone, and the system can be operated from either small or large vessels. Click here to download brochure.

C-OPS near arctic ice edge. Photo S. HookerC-OPS near arctic ice edge. Photo S. Hooker

C-OPS can be customized to fit your specific needs. One of the customizations BSI has implemented is one for ice deployment called ICE-Pro.


  • UV capable with optical wavebands down to 305 nm
  • Complete, integrated system for measuring radiometric variables in coastal waters with submersible and above-water instrumentation (for both turbid coastal and clear oceanic waters)
  • Submersible instruments are optimized for measuring vertical profiles of radiance and irradiance at depth
  • Features rapid sampling (15 Hz); slow, free-fall descents; adjustable buoyancy; it is hand deployed; and has a 125 m maximum depth
  • Based on microradiometer technology 
  • Ideal for both ocean color, and satellite calibration and validation, shallow- or deep-water research 
  • Developed in partnership with NASA
  • Highlighted in NASA’s Ocean Ecology Science Research Portal in the Instrument Development section. (Click here on C-OPS to be taken directly to the Portal page.)
  • Click here for the chapter dealing with C-OPS from the NASA Technical Memorandum "Advances in Measuring the Apparent Optical Properties (AOPs) of Optically Complex Waters," NASA Tech. Memo. 2010–215856.
    John H. Morrow, C.R. Booth (both of Biospherical Instruments Inc.), and Stanford B. Hooker (NASA Calibration and Validation Office). Sea Technology, February 2010. 
Last Updated on Friday, 06 July 2012 06:27
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