LOAPEX: The Long-Range Ocean Acoustic Propagation EXperiment
WASHINGTON UNIV SEATTLE APPLIED PHYSICS LAB
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This paper provides an overview of the experimental goals and methods of the Long-range Ocean Acoustic Propagation EXperiment LOAPEX, which took place in the northeast Pacific Ocean between September 10, 2004 and October 10, 2004. This experiment was designed to address a number of unresolved issues in long-range, deep-water acoustic propagation including the effect of ocean fluctuations such as internal waves on acoustic signal coherence, and the scattering of low-frequency sound, in particular, scattering into the deep acoustic shadow zone. Broadband acoustic transmissions centered near 75 Hz were made from various depths to a pair of vertical hydrophone arrays covering 3500 m of the water column, and to several bottom-mounted horizontal line arrays distributed throughout the northeast Pacific Ocean Basin. Path lengths varied from 50 km to several megameters. Beamformed receptions on the horizontal arrays contained 1020-ms tidal signals, in agreement with a tidal model. Fifteen consecutive receptions on one of the vertical line arrays with a source range of 3200 km showed the potential for incoherent averaging. Finally, shadow zone receptions were observed on an ocean bottom seismometer at a depth of 5000 m from a source at 3200-250-km range.