The real-time detection of the calls of cetacean species

E.J. Harland, M.S. Armstrong


The UK is currently implementing the next generation of military surface ships active sonars. As part of the environmental protection work associated with the new sonars, and also in support of existing sonars, the UK Ministry of Defence has funded a programme of work to improve the capability to detect, classify and localise marine mammals. QinetiQ Ltd have been contracted to provide a software package, which can process the raw acoustic data from a number of sonar systems, including towed arrays, hull-mounted arrays and sonobuoys. The software needs to be able to adjust to the local environment and provide a cetacean presence/non-presence decision in real-time and with a very low false alarm rate. The first version, running on a standard PC, has now been completed and tested at sea during the NATO SIRENA 03 cruise. This paper describes the processing method employed and the results achieved during testing using a number of datasets.


Algorithms; Computer software; Environmental protection; Fish detectors; Hydrophones; Marine biology; Parameter estimation; Real time systems; Sonar; Surface roughness; Cetacean species; Echolocation; Marine Mammal Automated Detection System (MMADS); Real time detection

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