Sound travels very good in the ocean and is used for the study of many phenomena across ocean sciences. This technology is used to detect zooplankton, fish, and sea mammals among others.
Miniaturized echo sounders available on the market
The challenges for utilizing echosounders on small autonomous vehicles are now being overcome with novel versions of scientific echosounders. They are more compact and need less power to operate. First implementations on gliders have been presented and validate the possibility of integrating this technology on gliders.
Bioglider will integrate a more sophisticated echo sounder than what has already been done, including split-beam capabilities, broadband capabilities, and the associated broadband transducers.
Integration of split beam transducers to locate targets in 3 dimensions
A key BIOGLIDER innovation is using split-beam transducers, so the echosounder can detect the location of targets in three dimensions. This is done by comparing the phase deviations of the return signal between different sections of the transducer. By knowing the position of the target we can identify and target track individuals, providing estimates of swimming behavior and calibrated backscatter along with the broadband backscattering spectrum of the isolated target for improved target classification.