Read an ADV data file, producing an object of type
function works by transferring control to a more specialized function,
and in many cases users will find it preferable to either use these or
the several even more specialized functions, if the file type is
1 2 3 4
a connection or a character string giving the name of the file
to load. It is also possible to give
index number of the first profile to be read, or the time of
that profile, as created with
indication of the last profile to read, in a format matching that
an indication of the stride length to use while walking through
the file. This is ignored if
character string indicating time zone to be assumed in the data.
optional signed number indicating the longitude in degrees East.
optional signed number indicating the latitude in degrees North.
the time of the first sample, typically created with
the time between samples.
a flag that turns on debugging. The value indicates the depth
within the call stack to which debugging applies. For example,
boolean, set to
if provided, the action item to be stored in the log. This parameter is typically only provided for internal calls; the default that it provides is better for normal calls by a user.
Files without headers may be created in experiments in which a data logger was set up to monitor the serial data stream from an instrument. The lack of header information places a burden on the user, who must supply such basic information as the times of observations, the instrument orientation, the instrument coordinate system, etc. Example 3 below shows how to deal with such files. Three things should be noted.
The user must choose the appropriate
corresponding to the instrument in question. (This is necessary because
oceMagic, which is used by the generic
routine, cannot determine the type of instrument by examining a file that
lacks a header.)
The call to the
read function must include a start time
start) and the number of seconds between data (
again, because the instrument data stream may lack those things when the
device is set to a serial mode. Also, of course, it is necessary to set
header=FALSE in the function call.
Once the file has been read in, the user will be obliged to specify
other information, for the object to be well-formed. For example, the
read function will have no way of knowing the instrument orientation,
the coordinate system being used, the transformation matrix to go from
"xyz" coordinates, or the instrument heading, pitch,
and roll, to go from
"xyz" coordinates to
Such things are illustrated in example 3 below.
In ADV data files, velocities are coded to signed 2-byte integers, with a
scale factor being used to convert to velocity in metres per second. These
two facts control the maximum recordable velocity and the velocity
resolution, values that may be retrieved for an ADV object name
An object of
adv-class that contains
measurements made with an ADV device.
metadata contains information as given in the following table.
The “Nortek name” is the name used in the Nortek System Integrator Guide
[reference 1] and the “Sontek name” is the name used in the relevant
Sontek documentation. References are given in square brackets.
| ||Nortek name||Sontek name||Meaning|
| ||-||-|| Either
| ||-||-|| Either
| ||-||-||Name of data file(s)|
| ||-||-||Latitude of mooring (if applicable)|
| ||-||-||Longitude of mooring (if applicable)|
| ||-||-||Number of data samples in file|
| ||NBeams [1 p18]||-||Number of beams (always 3)|
||NPings||-||number of beam sequences per burst|
| ||MeasInterval [1 p31]||-|
| ||512/(AvgInterval) [1 p30; 4]||-|
data list contains items with names corresponding to
objects, with an exception for Nortek data. Nortek instruments report some
things at a time interval that is longer than the velocity sampling, and
these are stored in
temperatureSlow; if burst
sampling was used, there will also be items
processingLog is in the standard format.
Sampling-rate and similar issues
The data format is inferred from the System Integrator Guide [1A] and System
Integrator Manual [1B]. These document lacks clarity in spots, and so
read.adv.nortek contains some assumptions that are noted here, so
that users will be aware of possible problems.
A prominent example is the specification of the sampling rate, stored in
metadata$sampingRate in the return value. Repeated examination of
the System Integrator Guide  failed to indicate where this value is
stored in the various headers contained in Vector datasets. After some
experimentation with a few data files,
read.adv.nortek was set up to
AvgInterval is a part of the “User Configuration” header [1 p30],
where the explanation is “average interval in seconds”). This formula was
developed through trial and error, but it was confirmed later on the Nortek
discussion group, and it should appear in upcoming versions of .
Another basic issue is the determination of whether an instrument had
recorded in continuous mode or burst mode. One might infer that
TimCtrlReg in the “User Configuration” header [1 p30] determines
this, in bits 1 and 2. However, this was the case in test files available
to the author. For this reason,
read.adv.nortek infers the mode by
reverse engineering of data files of known configuration. The present
read.adv.nortek determines the sampling mode from the
NRecords” item of the “Vector Velocity Data” header, which seems
to be 0 for data collected continuously, and non-zero for data collected in
Taking these things together, we come upon the issue of how to infer
sampling times for Nortek instruments. There do not seem to be definitive
documents on this, and so
read.adv.nortek is based partly on
information (of unknown quality) found on Nortek discusson boards. The
present version of
read.adv.nortek infers the times of velocity
observations differently, depending on whether the instrument was set to
record in burst mode or continuous mode. For burst mode, times stated in
the burst headers are used, but for continous mode, times stated in the
“vector system data” are used. On the advice found on a Nortek discussion
board, the burst-mode times are offset by 2 seconds to allow for the
instrument warm-up period.
Handling IMU (inertial measurement unit) data
Starting in March
read.adv.nortek has offered some support for handling IMU
(inertial measurement unit) data incorporated into Nortek binary files. This
is not described in the Nortek document named “System Integrator Guide”
(2008 [1A]) but it appeared in “System Integrator Manual” (2014 [1B]; 2016
[1C]). Confusingly, 1B described 3 varieties of data, whereas 1C does not
describe any of these, but describes instead a fourth variety. As of March
read.adv.nortek handles all 4 varieties, because files in the
various schemes appear to exist. In
oce, the varieties are named
after the byte code that flags them. (Variety
c3 is the one
described in [1C]; the others were described in [1B].) The variety is stored
metadata slot of the returned object as a string named
For each variety, the reader is cautioned that strong tests have not been
performed on the code. One way to test the code is to compare with textual
data files produced by the Nortek software. In March 2016, an
user shared a dataset of the
c3 variety, and this permitted detailed
comparison between the text file and the values inferred by
read.adv.nortek. The test suggested agreement (to within the
resolution printed in the text file) for velocity (
v in the
data slot), signal amplitude (
a), correlation (
p), the three components of IMU delta angle
IMUdeltaAngleX etc), and all components of the rotation matrix
IMUrotation). However, the delta velocity signals did not match,
IMUdeltaVelocityX disagreeing in the second decimal place,
IMUdeltaVelocityY component disagreeing in the first, and
IMUdeltaVelocityZ being out by a factor of about 10. This is github
issue 893 (https://github.com/dankelley/oce/issues/893).
c3 (signalled by byte 5 of a sequence being
0xc3) provides information on what Nortek calls DeltaAngle,
DeltaVelocity and Orientation Matrix. (Apart from the orientation matrix,
Nortek provides no documentation on what these quantities mean.) In the
object returned by
read.adv.nortek, these are stored in the
data slot as
IMUrotation, all vectors except the
last, which is a 3D array. In addition to these,
IMUtimestamp is a
time-stamp, which is not defined in the Nortek documents but seems, from IMU
documents , to be defined based on a clock that ticks once per 16
microseconds. Caution may be required in dealing with this timestamp, since
it seemed sensible in one test case (variety
d3) but kept reseting to
zero in another (variety
c3). The lack of Nortek documentation on
most of these quantities is a roadblock to implementing
dealing with IMU-enabled datasets
cc (signalled by byte 5 of a sequence being
0xcc) provides information on acceleration, angular rotation rate,
magnetic vector and orientation matrix. Each is a timeseries. Acceleration
is stored in the
data slot as
IMUaccelz. The angular rotation components are
IMUngrtz. The magnetic data are in
IMUmatrix is a rotation matrix made up from elements named
M12, etc in the Nortek documentation. In addition to all
IMUtime stores time in seconds (with an origin whose
definition is not stated in [1B]).
d2 (signalled by byte 5 being
information on gyro-stabilized acceleration, angular rate and magnetometer
vectors. The data stored
IMUmagrtX, with similar for
Z. Again, time is in
IMUtime. This data type has not been tested as of mid-March 2016,
because the developers do not have a test file with which to test.
d3 (signalled by byte 5 being
information on DeltaAngle, DeltaVelocity and magnetometer vectors, stored in
IMUdeltaMagVectorX, with similar for
time is in
IMUtime. This data type has not been tested as of
mid-March 2016, because the developers do not have a test file with which to
1A. Nortek AS. System Integrator Guide (paradopp family of products). June 2008. (Doc No: PSI00-0101-0608). (Users may find it helpful to also examine newer versions of the guide.)
1B. Nortek AS. System Integrator Manual. Dec 2014.
1C. Nortek AS. System Integrator Manual. March 2016.
2. SonTek/YSI ADVField/Hydra Acoustic Doppler Velocimeter (Field) Technical Documentation (Sept 1, 2001).
3. Appendix 2.2.3 of the Sontek ADV operation Manual, Firmware Version 4.0 (Oct 1997).
4. Nortek Knowledge Center http://www.nortekusa.com/en/knowledge-center
5. A document describing an IMU unit that seems to be close to the one named
in [1B,C] as being an adjunct to Nortek Vector systems is at
Other things related to
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