AXBT in an abbreviation for airborne expendable bathythermograph, an air–deployed, expendable, ocean temperature profiling probe.
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The AXBT consists of a temperature probe, 300 to 1000 meters of cable, a VHF transmitter and antenna, and a salt water activated battery. When the AXBT hits the ocean surface and stabilizes, the transmitter is activated and the temperature probe released. The surface transmitter telemeters the temperatures measured by the falling probe to a data gathering system on the same aircraft that released the probe.