23 May 2014 Optical remote sensing of sound in the ocean
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Abstract
We are proposing a novel 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 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 has been shown to be 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. The basic principles have been demonstrated in the laboratory, and these results will be presented. Estimates of signal-to-noise ratio suggest that the technique should work in the open ocean. Design considerations and signal-to-noise ratios will also be presented.
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James H. Churnside, Konstantin Naugolnykh, Richard D. Marchbanks, "Optical remote sensing of sound in the ocean", Proc. SPIE 9111, Ocean Sensing and Monitoring VI, 91110T (23 May 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2052930; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2052930
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