Estimation of Acoustic Particle Motion and Source Bearing Using a Drifting Hydrophone Array Near a River Current Turbine to Assess Disturbances to Fish
Murphy, Paul Gregory
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River hydrokinetic turbines may be an economical alternative to traditional energy sources for small communities on Alaskan rivers. However, there is concern that sound from these turbines could affect sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka), an important resource for small, subsistence based communities, commercial fisherman, and recreational anglers. The hearing sensitivity of sockeye salmon has not been quantified, but behavioral responses to sounds at frequencies less than a few hundred Hertz have been documented for Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar), and particle motion is thought to be the primary mode of stimulation. Methods of measuring acoustic particle motion are well-established, but have rarely been necessary in energetic areas, such as river and tidal current environments. In this study, the acoustic pressure in the vicinity of an operating river current turbine is measured using a freely drifting hydrophone array. Analysis of turbine sound reveals tones that vary in frequency and magnitude with turbine rotation rate, and that may sockeye salmon may sense. In addition to pressure, the vertical components of particle acceleration and velocity are estimated by calculating the finite difference of the pressure signals from the hydrophone array. A method of determining source bearing using an array of hydrophones is explored. The benefits and challenges of deploying drifting hydrophone arrays for marine renewable energy converter monitoring are discussed.
- Mechanical engineering