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The University of Southampton
Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre Southampton

Research project: Underwater large-area high resolution monitoring by Distributed Optical Fibre Acoustic Sensors

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Funded by NERC, the aim of this project is to investigate the feasibility of using optical fibre distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) to provide high resolution, high frequency mapping of underwater acoustic signals in real time over large areas.

In this feasibility study, we are using a distributed acoustic sensor (DAS) system manufactured in Southampton, which can be specifically tailored for the monitoring of underwater acoustic signals to reconstruct a 3D map of acoustic fields in the ocean.

The concept is based on monitoring the changes in backscattered light in the sensing optical fibre generated by a moving optical pulse travelling at the speed of light, allowing the strain to be sampled almost instantaneously along the entire fibre. This technology will enable the amplitude and frequency of the induced strains to be measured for both stationary and mobile acoustic sources over extended periods of time.

Experiments are being conducted in a test-tank and in the marine environment.

 

Optical Fibres Laid on a Rubber Mat
Optical Fibres Laid on a Rubber Mat for Testing in the AB Wood Tank
Callista
Callista: The University of Southampton’s research vessel
The AB Wood Test Tank
The AB Wood Test Tank
Interior of the portable DAS system
Interior of the portable DAS system
Pontoons in Empress Dock
Pontoons in Empress Dock
Pontoons in Empress Dock
Pontoons in Empress Dock

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