ASA 129th Meeting - Washington, DC - 1995 May 30 .. Jun 06

2aUW28. Autonomous environmental measurement system.

J. M. Stevenson

J. R. Olson

B. J. Sotirin

Acoust. Branch, Code 541, Naval Command, Control and Ocean Surveillance Center, RDT&E Div., San Diego, CA 92152-6435

For experiment planning and optimized array deployment, experiment planners and array designers often seek a quick, affordable means to help determine best placement of a underwater acoustic measurement system prior to deployment. Array design geometry relative to ambient noise levels and variability, seafloor morphology, currents, and water column structure (e.g., ducts) is aided by a priori knowledge of the setting. It is desirable to determine some of these unknowns before undertaking the time and effort of a system deployment. Likewise, experiment planners and array designers would like to be able to explore deployment schemes that are locally optimized for the environment in order to reduce sensor sparseness in critical areas. This presentation describes an expendable, inexpensive sensor suite installed approximately one week prior to the deployment of an underwater acoustic measurement system. The instrument collects environmental data and provides advanced information to the experiment planners prior to a final deployment, facilitating optimized placement of the measurement system. Parameters sampled include: Variability and average level of ambient noise, SVPs, seafloor type and sediment thickness, surface wave heights, tidal measurements, and water currents. Characteristics of the system described include its small size, low weight, low power, affordability, and simple, low-bandwidth data collection scheme based on slack line array technology. [Work supported by ONR, Code 321.]