Leveraging audio hardware for underwater acoustics

Academic Article


  • Both active and passive underwater acoustic systems frequently use purpose built hardware that is designed for a particular application. Transducers, electronics, and data acquisition systems for field experiments, therefore, are often expensive, tailored to limited frequency bands, or packaged for integration with a specific platform. Reliance on custom hardware, however, can make initial experimental investigations of new sensing paradigms cost prohibitive. The expense also creates an entry barrier to experimental work for students and researchers outside the underwater acoustics community. Audio hardware, however, is widely available, easily integrated using commercial data acquisition tools, and is often of relatively low cost. This presentation will describe two efforts to use audio hardware for inexpensive experimental investigations of underwater acoustics topics. The first, AirSAS, uses audio transducers and electronics to investigate synthetic aperture sonar problems in air that are analogous to those underwater. The second, the Citizen Scientist Hydrophone, integrates underwater transducers with consumer audio electronics to make an inexpensive, multipurpose passive sensing device. Challenges and limitations of using commercial audio hardware for underwater acoustics, especially as they relate to accuracy and data quality, will be discussed.
  • Authors

  • Blanford, Thomas
  • Garrett, Luke
  • Park, J Daniel
  • Brown, Daniel C
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • April 1, 2022
  • Has Subject Area

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • A248
  • End Page

  • A249
  • Volume

  • 151
  • Issue

  • 4_Supplement