Development of Autonomous Broadband Acoustic Backscattering Techniques for Remote and Synoptic Zooplankton Characterization


Andone Lavery and Eugene A. Terray, Applied Ocean Physics & Engineering

Grant Funded 2007

We propose fabricating and testing an autonomous broadband acoustic backscattering system to enable the remote investigation of zooplankton distributions on ecologically relevant spatial and temporal scales. The new system will be based on a Doppler sonar module recently developed for turbulence studies. Such a low-cost, low-power, compact, system would be appropriate for use on gliders and small AUVs, moored applications, and could also be easily mounted on profiling or towed platforms. If successful this project will result in a new and unique tool for studying zooplankton, in addition to augmenting the current capabilities of gliders and small AUVs. We propose testing the system in the field by deploying it on a combined CTD/VPR/OPC profiling package during May 2008 in the Great South Channel, a right whale feeding ground, in order to map the distribution and abundance of zooplankton, and copepods in particular.