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Journal of Applied Remote Sensing • Open Access

Optical remote sensing of sound in the ocean
Author(s): James H. Churnside; Konstantin Naugolnykh; Richard D. Marchbanks

Paper Abstract

We propose a remote sensing technique to measure sound in the upper ocean. The objective is a system that can be flown on an aircraft. Conventional acoustic sensors are ineffective in this application, because almost none (∼0.1%) of the sound in the ocean is transmitted through the water/air interface. The technique is based on the acoustic modulation of naturally occurring bubbles near the sea surface. It is clear from the ideal gas law that the volume of a bubble will decrease if the pressure is increased, as long as the number of gas molecules and temperature remain constant. The pressure variations associated with the acoustic field will therefore induce proportional volume fluctuations of the insonified bubbles. The lidar return from a collection of bubbles is proportional to the total void fraction, independent of the bubble size distribution. This implies that the lidar return from a collection of insonified bubbles will be modulated at the acoustic frequencies, independent of the bubble size distribution. Moreover, that modulation is linearly related to the sound pressure. A laboratory experiment confirmed the basic principles, and estimates of signal-to-noise ratio suggest that the technique will work in the open ocean.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 June 2015
PDF: 11 pages
J. Appl. Remote Sens. 9(1) 096038 doi: 10.1117/1.JRS.9.096038
Published in: Journal of Applied Remote Sensing Volume 9, Issue 1
Show Author Affiliations
James H. Churnside, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (United States)
Konstantin Naugolnykh, Zel Technologies (United States)
Richard D. Marchbanks, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (United States)
Univ. of Colorado at Boulder (United States)


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