Lowered acoustic Doppler current profilers (LADCPs) have matured from an experimental instrument to an operational hydrographic tool to study ocean dynamics. The data processing, however, is still in a rather primitive state. First, a method to estimate bottom-track velocities using the standard water profile data was developed. Then inverse solutions are presented that enhance the standard data processing by adding external constraints such as bottom-referenced velocity profiles. Depending on the depth of the profile and the ADCP range the inclusion of bottom-track data can reduce the local velocity errors by a significant factor. The least squares framework also allows for simplified error analysis of the LADCP system and some of the trade-offs are discussed.
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