Our experiments

Beaked whales are known to be the deepest diving marine mammals, reaching depths of 3 kilometers. Because of their low surface visibility and deep-diving habits, their behavior is not well understood.  It is known that each species of beaked whale — there are at least 23 known species — makes a train of click sounds unique to that species.

Oregon State University has developed an audio recording and processing board called the Wide-band Intelligent Signal Processor (WISPR). WISPR boards were installed on two types of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs): a profiler float and a glider. Specifically, we installed a WISPR board (now available from EOS, Inc.) on the APEX profiling float (Teledyne Webb, Inc.) in a system called the QUEphone, and on the Seaglider (Kongsberg, Inc.). Field recordings were made off Catalina Island in California for evaluation of performance at detecting beaked whale clicks.

Short data files containing beaked whale clicks are now available for developers of detection and classification algorithms on this site. Also available are data files from this area recorded by two other types of instruments: the High-frequency Acoustic Recording Package (HARP) from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and the Drifting Acoustic Spar Buoy Recorder (DASBR) from NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center.

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