A review of low cost underwater acoustic remote sensing for large freshwater systems

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In recent years, low cost and highly accurate underwater remote sensing instruments and technologies have advanced at an astonishing rate. Intense competition among manufacturers, coupled with advances in digital signal processing has brought about these breakthroughs, all to the benefit of the scientific community. Commercial Off the Shelf Technology (COST) is now available and incorporated into current acoustic sensors, with quality and resolution that was previously reserved for only large-scale ocean exploration. The corollary to this observation is that the entire field of acoustic remote sensing of the aquatic environment is rapidly evolving and is likely to continue to do so over the next decade. Acoustic bottom mapping, Doppler sensing and remote and autonomous vehicle imaging systems are now becoming commonplace for large lake science and are approaching maturity. Given this evolution, this summary reviews two major categories of underwater, acoustic remote sensing technologies; bottom mapping systems and Doppler sensing systems. Bottom mapping systems are primarily used to determine the presence of the bottom, map its features and classify its composition. Doppler systems make use of target motion to deduce the velocity of the target, in up to three spatial dimensions. For each category of acoustic remote sensing a brief description of the theory of operation is provided, followed by examples of the types of data produced by the technology. When possible, estimates of range and accuracy of typical units in each class is provided. Finally, examples of new utilizations of combined remote sensing technologies are discussed. © 2013 .

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Journal of Great Lakes Research