Leveraging audio hardware for underwater acoustics experiments

Thomas E. Blanford, Luke Garrett, J. Daniel Park, Daniel C. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


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 paper describes 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 accessible digital hydrophone. While commercial audio hardware presents several challenges and limitations relating to accuracy and data quality, it can produce scientifically meaningful data for preliminary experimentation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number30002
JournalProceedings of Meetings on Acoustics
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 23 2022
Event182nd Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, ASA 2022 - Denver, United States
Duration: May 23 2022May 27 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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