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Images: Eavesdropping on Whales

How the DMON (Digital acoustic MONitoring) buoy works: Different species of whales traveling in the new York Bight make different, distinctive sounds. The hydrophones and DMON instrument detect the whale calls and transmit information about them from the seafloor up the cable to the buoy, which relays the information to a satellite. (Illustration by Eric Taylor, WHOI Graphic Services)
In near-real time, a satellite relays information about whale calls received by the DMON buoy off New York to Woods Hole, Mass., and to WHOI biologist Mark Baumgartner's computer. (Illustration by Eric Taylor, WHOI Graphic Services)
In Woods Hole, Mass., scientist Mark Baumgartner (WHOI) and acoustic analyst Julianne Gurnee (NOAA-NEFSC) receive data on whale calls and analyze them to identify the species detected. The whale-detection data are available on the website Robots4Whales for anyone to use. In the future, Baumgartner and Gurnee hope to make detection information available to ships in near-real time to help reduce the chance of collisions. (Photo by Jayne Doucette, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Ship image courtesy of the Wildlife Conservation Society. Illustration by Eric Taylor, WHOI Graphic Services)
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