Application of Density Estimation Methods to Datasets Collected from a Glider

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Journal of the Acoustical Society of America

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Sonar, Iridium, Ocean currents, Mediterranean Sea -- Environmental conditions


Ocean gliders can provide an inexpensive alternative for marine mammal population density studies. Gliders can monitor bigger spatial areas than fixed passive acoustic recorders. It is a low-noise, low-speed platform, easy to set up, maneuver, and transport on land, deploy, and recover. They can be deployed for long periods and report near real-time results through Iridium modem. Furthermore, gliders can sense the environmental conditions of the survey area, which are important for estimating detection distances. The main objective of this work is to evaluate the use of ocean gliders for population density estimation. Current methodologies developed for fixed sensors will be extended to these platforms by employing both simulations and real experimental data. An opportunistic preliminary sea trial conducted in June 2014 allowed for testing of a Slocum glider fitted with an inexpensive acoustic recording system comprising of two hydrophones connected to an off-the-shelf voice recorder installed inside the glider. Acoustic data recorded in deep waters (>1500 m) off the western coast of Sardinia, Mediterranean Sea, showed the presence of sperm whale echolocation clicks. An improved experiment is planned for the summer 2015. Preliminary results of both campaigns will be presented with an emphasis on population density estimation.


© 2015 Acoustical Society of America

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