Acoustics is a major tool for fisheries and zooplankton research,with an enormous range of applications. One of its principal uses is in the assessment of the abundance of stocks of fish such as cod, herring and blue whiting, each of which is patently valuable to European countries. Another important area of scientific application of remote sensing acoustic systems is in detailed ecosystem studies.
Common to virtually all current applications of acoustics in fisheries and zooplankton research is the use of sharply-tuned resonant transducers. Bandwidth is achieved only at the expense of considerable reduction in operating efficiency and consequent loss of range capability. Wide bandwidth or frequency diversity is, however, recognised to be essential to future development and extension of the applications. This may ensure or increase robustness, improve data quality and make available spectral data for classification purposes. Two key elements in exploitation of frequency diversity are modelling and measurement technique.
In the project proposed here, several distinct capabilities are brought together in an attempt to demonstrate the feasibility and value of wideband measurement. These capabilities include the development and validation of new, powerful computer models for defining the structure of, and predicting backscatter from, marine organisms. Development of state-of-the-art equipment for measuring broadband scattering using modern signal process-ng, data processing and data display techniques will be carried out. At-sea application of the assembled measurement system to single-species and mixed aggregations of biological scatterers in both captive and wild populations will take place. The ultimate objective of this research project is to establish the value of broadband sonar techniques for fisheries acoustics. In achieving this, acoustic spectral characterisation of marine animals, remote sensing of marine populations and the development of efficient sonar equipment capable of wide, continuous frequency coverage will take place.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
B15 2TT Birmingham