Evaluation of a GNSS for wave measurement and directional wave spectrum analysis

Hanbin Gu, Xiaoan Zhu, Rui Shan, Jun Zang, Ling Qian, Pengzhi Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (SciVal)
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Wave buoys are important devices to monitor and analyze wave data for ocean and coastal engineering. A GNSS wave buoy is briefly introduced in the paper, which has high resolution to measure the buoy motion by vertical, north-south and west-east displacements and independent velocities in above three directions. Based on the displacements and velocities, statistical results, frequency spectra and directional spectra are analyzed, and results based on the displacements are compared with that from Waverider with a distance less than 6m deployed in the special sea water with the GNSS buoy. Wave profiles comparison show that GNSS buoy presented slightly large significant wave height and mean wave height due to its high sampling frequency, and resulted in smaller mean wave period than that from Waverider. Statisticaly, between the analyzing result of the GNSS and wave rider, the maximum error of wave height is about 5.5%; and the maximum difference of wave period is about 0.5s, when sampling frequency is similar. The energy spectra were basically consistent from these two devices. The peaks of directional spectra were similar but the spreading angle was smaller from GNSS. Results mean the GNSS device presents almost similar wave information to that from Waverider.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113683
JournalOcean Engineering
Early online date21 Jan 2023
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2023

Data Availability Statement

Data will be made available on request


The first author appreciates that Dr. Samuel Draycott who come from the Manchester University in UK put forward some positive comments and suggestions on wave analysis in the manuscripts. Qingdao iSpatial Ocean Technology Co. Ltd is appreciated for supplying the GNSS buoy to do the in-situ test.


  • Directional function
  • Directional wave spectrum
  • Frequency wave spectrum
  • GNSS
  • Parametric method
  • Wave buoy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Ocean Engineering


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