In the 1960's, Ivar Aanderaa, the company founder, was instrumental with several inventions needed to solve the technological challenges for deep sea exploration. The initial need was to design an instrument that could measure ocean currents of long periods of time at great depths. In the deep ocean, the challenges are numerous including pressure, corrosion, and other forces of nature. And at the end of the day, you had to provide power and a means of recording data. Aanderaa, in collaboration with the Christian Michelsen Institute, developed the advancements needed including the first analog to digital converter that could fit in a pressure tube capable of withstanding deep ocean depths. This revolutionary invention ensured low power operation with reliable sensor technology and enabled Aanderaa's instrumentation to be deployed for several years while recording data continuously. These early inventions set the pace for what became a legendary reputation for durability and reliability in instrumentation.
The first long term current series
In 1968, four current meters were deployed in the Weddell Sea for what was planned to be a one year project to observe the largest source of Atlantic bottom water. Due to unfavorable ice conditions, the current meters couldn't be recovered until 5 years later - 4 years later than planned. Two of the four current meters were recovered and despite the 5 years in the sea, the tapes contained 12,000 hourly operations of quality data. This was at the time the longest time series ever obtained and word was spread among scientists around the world about the Aanderaa current meters. Providing reliable long term deployment data has been the vision for Aanderaa from the very beginning and up until today.