Design and Implementation of an Underwater Sound Recording Device

Journal Article

Title: Design and Implementation of an Underwater Sound Recording Device
Publication Date:
September 01, 2011
Journal: Sensors
Volume: 11
Issue: 9
Pages: 8519-8535
Publisher: MDPI

Document Access

Website: External Link
Attachment: Access File
(3 MB)


Martinez, J.; Myers, J.; Carlson, T.; Deng, Z.; Rohrer, J.; Caviggia, K.; Woodley, C.; Weiland, M. (2011). Design and Implementation of an Underwater Sound Recording Device. Sensors, 11(9), 8519-8535.

To monitor the underwater sound and pressure waves generated by anthropogenic activities such as underwater blasting and pile driving, an autonomous system was designed to record underwater acoustic signals. The underwater sound recording device (USR) allows for connections of two hydrophones or other dynamic pressure sensors, filters high frequency noise out of the collected signals, has a gain that can be independently set for each sensor, and allows for 2 h of data collection. Two versions of the USR were created: a submersible model deployable to a maximum depth of 300 m, and a watertight but not fully submersible model. Tests were performed on the USR in the laboratory using a data acquisition system to send single-frequency sinusoidal voltages directly to each component. These tests verified that the device operates as designed and performs as well as larger commercially available data acquisition systems, which are not suited for field use. On average, the designed gain values differed from the actual measured gain values by about 0.35 dB. A prototype of the device was used in a case study to measure blast pressures while investigating the effect of underwater rock blasting on juvenile Chinook salmon and rainbow trout. In the case study, maximum positive pressure from the blast was found to be significantly correlated with frequency of injury for individual fish. The case study also demonstrated that the device withstood operation in harsh environments, making it a valuable tool for collecting field measurements.

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