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Design and Benchmark Tests of a Multi-Channel Hydrophone Array System for Dolphin Echolocation Recordings

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DOI: 10.4236/oja.2012.23014    2,938 Downloads   6,053 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

This paper describes in depth the design and application considerations of a computer based measurement system enabling 1 MS/s simultaneous sampling of 47 hydrophones for cross sectional recordings of echolocation beams of toothed whales (Odontocetes). An earlier prototype version of the system has previously only been presented as a brief proof of principle that did not offer a complete description of the software and hardware solution. Crucial hardware and software design considerations of the further developed system include the re-arm times of the burst mode sampling and the dual-core distributed execution of the software components. The rearm time was measured to 283 μs, using a 550 μs long sample window around each click. This enables burst mode sampling of clicks with an inter-click interval as short as 833 μs. It is shown through both synthetic benchmark tests of the system and through field measurements of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and a beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas) that it is capable of acquiring, analyzing and visualizing data in run-time. It operates effectively also in highly reverberant surroundings like concrete pools and shallow waters. Burst mode sampling allows the system to block reflections with 0.3 - 0.5 m longer propagation paths than the direct path. It is suggested that the system’s compliance to reverberant recording sites makes it valuable in future dolphin echolocation studies.

Cite this paper

J. Starkhammar, M. Amundin, J. Nilsson, T. Jansson, M. Almqvist and H. Persson, "Design and Benchmark Tests of a Multi-Channel Hydrophone Array System for Dolphin Echolocation Recordings," Open Journal of Acoustics, Vol. 2 No. 3, 2012, pp. 121-130. doi: 10.4236/oja.2012.23014.

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