Bioacoustics are a powerful tool to study the marine environment. Echosounders allow researchers to use sound to collect data on the biological activity in the water column.
In this video from the Coordinated Simultaneous Physical-Biological Sampling Using ADCP-Equipped Ocean Gliders expedition, a team from the University of Washington Applied Physics Lab deploys an echosounder, attached to a mooring that will sink to the seafloor and collect data on small organisms, like krill and hake, that are critical to marine ecosystem health and functionality. The collected data will be used to test the utility of Seagliders, a type of autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV), for the collection of similar acoustic data on a wider scale.
Like a racecar pit crew, the team works seamlessly to deploy the gear, weighing over 500 pounds, in a safe and efficient manner. The echosounder will stay in the deep waters offshore La Push, Washington, for several weeks before recovery. When it is time for retrieval, the team will send an acoustic signal to a receiver on the mooring that will unlock it from its heavy mooring, sending the echosounder flying to the water's surface where it can be easily retrieved by the ship's crane system.
From data collection to equipment retrieval, most of the objectives of this project will be accomplished by leveraging the power of sound!
Published September 1, 2021