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Hydrophone to track L25 Ocean Sun — Ashley Harlaub, Wright State University

A hydrophone is an underwater microphone used to study communication among sea animals.

The range of a hydrophone (an underwater microphone) can vary depending on several factors such as the sensitivity of the hydrophone, the frequency of the sound being detected, and the ambient noise level in the water.

Most often, a hydrophone can detect sounds from several hundred meters to several kilometers away, depending on the factors mentioned above. Some advanced hydrophones used for scientific or military purposes may have a range of tens or even hundreds of kilometers. Water conditions such as temperature, salinity, and depth can also affect the range of a hydrophone. In addition, the shape and size of the object emitting the sound can also affect the range of detection.

Orcas communicate with each other by using a tissue system in their nose, their ears, and by creating their own language which is unique within each whale pod. A killer whale’s vocalizations can travel a mile per second in water. If a hydrophone was added to a sea pen could an orca in a sea pen could communicate with another orca and vice versa. 

It may be possible to monitor Ocean Sun’s location by hydrophone which could determine whether or not Ocean Sun or L25 is near the sea pen. The map above may be helpful in determining the distance between a sea pen and the SRKWs routes. 

Please reference this blog article on a similar topic Track SRKW and L25.