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Cimatoribus, A. A.; van Haren, H. & Gostiaux, L.

A Procedure to Compensate for the Response Drift of a Large Set of Thermistors

Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, 33, 1495-1508 (2016)

The drift of temperature measurements by semiconductor negative temperature coefficient thermistors is a well-known problem. This study analyzes the drift characteristics of the thermistors designed and used at the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research for measuring high-frequency temperature fluctuations in the ocean. These thermistors can be calibrated to high precision and accuracy (better than 1 mK) and have very low noise levels.

The thermistors can measure independently for long periods of time (more than one year), and the identification and compensation of the drift are thus essential processing steps. A laboratory analysis showing that the drift is similar, in its functional form, to the drift of commercial thermistors described in the literature is presented. An effective procedure to estimate this drift from ocean observations is described and tested using three datasets from the deep Atlantic Ocean. Since the functional form of the drift rate is, with good approximation, universal among different sensors, the procedure could easily be adapted to other datasets and, the authors argue, to measurements from thermistors by other manufacturers too.

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