Monterey Bay ambient noise profiles using underwater gliders

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Chandrayadula, Tarun K. ; Miller, Chris W. ; Joseph, John (2013)
  • Publisher: Acoustical Society of America through the American Institute of Physics

The article of record as published may be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.4799131 In 2012, during two separate week-long deployments, underwater gliders outfitted with external hydrophones profiled the upper 100-200 m of the Monterey Bay. The environment contained various noises made by marine mammals, ships, winds, and earthquakes. Unlike hydrophone receivers moored to a fixed location, moving gliders measure noise variability across a wide terrain. However, underwater mobile systems have limitations such as instrument and flow noise, that are undesired. In order to estimate the system noise level, the hydrophones on the gliders had different gain settings on each deployment. The first deployment used a 0 dB gain during which the ambient noise recordings were dominated by the glider. The second used two hydrophones, one with a 0 dB gain and the other with 20 dB. Apart from system sounds, the higher-gain hydrophone also recorded far-away sources such as whales and ships. The noise recordings are used to estimate the spectrograms across depth and record time. The spectrograms are integrated with the glider engineering data to estimate histograms of noise power as a function of depth and glider velocity. The statistics from the two different deployments are compared to discuss the value of gliders with external hydrophones in ambient noise studies.
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