Passive acoustic localization of the Atlantic bottlenose dolphin using whistles and echolocation clicks. Academic Article uri icon


  • A method for localization and tracking of calling marine mammals was tested under realistic field conditions that include noise, multipath, and arbitrarily located sensors. Experiments were performed in two locations using four and six hydrophones with captive Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). Acoustic signals from the animals were collected in the field using a digital acoustic data acquisition system. The data were then processed off-line to determine relative hydrophone positions and the animal locations. Accurate hydrophone position estimates are achieved by pinging sequentially from each hydrophone to all the others. A two-step least-squares algorithm is then used to determine sensor locations from the calibration data. Animal locations are determined by estimating the time differences of arrival of the dolphin signals at the different sensors. The peak of a matched filter output or the first cycle of the observed waveform is used to determine arrival time of an echolocation click. Cross correlation between hydrophones is used to determine inter-sensor time delays of whistles. Calculation of source location using the time difference of arrival measurements is done using a least-squares solution to minimize error. These preliminary experimental results based on a small set of data show that realistic trajectories for moving animals may be generated from consecutive location estimates.

publication date

  • April 1993