Acoustic Remote Sensing as a Tool for Habitat Mapping in Alaska Waters

Acoustic Remote Sensing as a Tool for Habitat Mapping in Alaska Waters

Lloyd C. Huff

Acoustic Remote Sensing as a Tool for Habitat Mapping in Alaska WatersThis is part of Marine Habitat Mapping Technology for Alaska
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Description

This paper discusses the basics of acoustic remote sensing (ARS), whereby information may be inferred about the environment through measurements of backscatter. The physical process of backscatter is described with emphasis on the different outcomes that are associated with a variety of common seabed materials. It is shown that the potential information, which can be inferred from measurements of backscatter, depends on the system design. Important system design parameters include acoustic frequency, pulse length, beamwidth, and deployment technique (towed or hull-mounted). The operational deployment of towed sidescan sonar, in particular whether it is towed close to the seabed or towed higher in the water column, can modify the potential utility of the backscatter measurements to habitat mapping.

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