The effect of attenuation from fish on passive detection of sound sources in ocean waveguide environments
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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OriginalversjonRemote Sensing. 2021, 13 (21), . 10.3390/rs13214369
Attenuation from fish can reduce the intensity of acoustic signals and significantly decrease detection range for long-range passive sensing of manmade vehicles, geophysical phenomena, and vocalizing marine life. The effect of attenuation from herring shoals on the Passive Ocean Acoustic Waveguide Remote Sensing (POAWRS) of surface vessels is investigated here, where concurrent wide-area active Ocean Acoustic Waveguide Remote Sensing (OAWRS) is used to confirm that herring shoals occluding the propagation path are responsible for measured reductions in ship radiated sound and corresponding detection losses. Reductions in the intensity of ship-radiated sound are predicted using a formulation for acoustic attenuation through inhomogeneities in an ocean waveguide that has been previously shown to be consistent with experimental measurements of attenuation from fish in active OAWRS transmissions. The predictions of the waveguide attenuation formulation are in agreement with measured reductions from attenuation, where the position, size, and population density of the fish groups are characterized using OAWRS imagery as well as in situ echosounder measurements of the specific shoals occluding the propagation path. Experimental measurements of attenuation presented here confirm previous theoretical predictions that common heuristic formulations employing free space scattering assumptions can be in significant error. Waveguide scattering and propagation theory is found to be necessary for accurate predictions.