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Application of Density Estimation Methods to Datasets Collected From a Glider

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Technical Report

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Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, Portland State University Portland

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This project started in August 2013 and has as long-term goal the extension of population density estimation methods based on detections of marine mammal vocalizations to datasets collected by an unmanned moving platform. The moving platform under consideration is an electric underwater glider, which offers the potential of surveying a larger area than a fixed, single sensor while measuring the environmental conditions. The glider also has the potential to surface and transmit data using a satellite modem. Moreover, fitting the glider with two hydrophones, one on each wing can provide bearings to vocalizing animals. Density estimation from glider datasets will be developed from recordings made during sea trials in Italy in June 2014, August 2015, and the sea trial currently taking place in the Gulf of Mexico. The datasets will be analyzed for the presence of specific species that occur in the locations where the acoustic data was recorded. For example, the data recorded off the west coast of Sardinia, Italy, contained echolocation clicks of sperm whales Physeter macrocephalus. This species is also known to occur in the Gulf of Mexico where data is currently being collected.

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