WOODS HOLE, Mass., April 1 (UPI) — U.S. scientists say they’ve developed broadband acoustic systems that could revolutionize oceanography as color television revolutionized analogue TV.
Researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution said their two advanced broadband acoustic systems could mean, among other things, a major upgrade in the ability to count and classify fish and to pinpoint tiny zooplankton amid seas of turbulence.
Lead scientists Tim Stanton and Andone Lavery said they have tested the two systems off the U.S. east coast with highly promising results.
“Components of these advances separately have been achieved by previous investigators, but this is the first of its kind with all of the technologies in one package,” Stanton said.
Both researchers plan to develop new broadband systems that span larger ranges of sound frequencies to detect smaller zooplankton and bigger fish. The new packages will be mounted on ships, automatic underwater vehicles and moorings to study a variety of environments over different time and space scales.
Beyond the scientific community, they said the same broadband technology has important regulatory, commercial and military value. Lavery said the Navy is using similar broadband technology to learn how fish interfere with underwater systems.
The study — funded by the U.S. Office of Naval Research, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and WHOI — appears in back-to-back papers recently published in the Journal of Marine Science.
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