A Seaglider-Integrated Digital Monitor for Bioacoustic Sensing

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An acoustic Digital MONitor (DMON) has been integrated into a Seaglider autonomous underwater vehicle to serve as a general-use tool for passive acoustic sensing of marine mammal vocalizations. The system is being developed as a complement to conventional ship-based cetacean survey methods. The acoustic system includes three omnidirectional hydrophones, one located on centerline of the aft payload hatch and one on each wingtip. An onboard real-time detector has been implemented to record an audio sample if ambient noise has risen above a user-prescribed signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) threshold level. The data size and the number of detections are available in semi-real time, and the acoustic data are retrieved upon recovery of the instrument. Because the DMON system interfaces with the Seaglider firmware, the glider pilot has the capability to modify several operational parameters governing the collection of acoustic data while the glider is deployed to tailor the data recording to the desired mission objectives. This implementation is referred to as the Seaglider Customizable Sampling Configuration (SCSC) DMON and has recorded a wide variety of cetacean vocal activity offshore the Hawaiian Islands.

Publication Title

IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering