Acronym AOBREA
Name Acoustic Oceanographic Buoy Rapid Environmental Assessment
Dates 2004|2006

Project description: The proposed joint research project (JRP) aims at the development and validation of acoustic-oceanographic remote sensing systems and data inversion-integration methods for the reliable, rapid environmental assessment (REA) of shallow water areas.
In this project, adapted and newly developed air-dropped sonobuoys will have both acoustic and oceanographic sensors sparsely distributed in depth throughout the useful portion of the water column, referred herein as the AO-buoys. The collected data will be transmitted online to a processing platform that will integrate acoustic and oceanographic information in order to produce a verifiable and consistent parameterised image of the area under consideration. In an operational scenario, the resulting environmental parameters, combined with concurrent oceanographic measurements are (a) used in propagation models to predict conventional sonar performance, (b) exploited by environmentally-adaptive sonar systems to enhance their detection, localisation and classification capabilities and (c) used to initialise and calibrate high-resolution ocean models for nowcast and short-term forecast (say, up to 24 hours) of the environmental conditions in the area of interest.


The main objective is to demonstrate, with at-sea data, the feasibility of reliable REA with an acoustic-oceanographic buoy field. The focus will be on (a) the development of new methodologies to invert the acoustic signals and integrate satellite-sensed and in-situ oceanographic data, (b) the improvement of the existing design, including the integration of oceanographic sensors, additional hydrophones and self-recording capability, (c) data assimilation into high-resolution ocean models for short-term predictions consistent with the observed data and (d) the field test of the system.

Research Groups Signal and Image Processing Group (SIPG)
Project Partners CINTAL, NURC, ULB, RNLNC, IH
ISR/IST Responsible
Sérgio Jesus
[1] Sérgio Jesus, Cristiano Soares, António Silva, E. Coelho, "Acoustic Oceanographic Buoy testing during the Maritime Rapid Environmental Assessment 2003 sea trial", Proc. of ECUA'04 - 7th European Conference on Underwater Acoustics, Delft, The Netherlands, 2004 - PDF
[2] Cristiano Soares, Sérgio Jesus, E. Coelho, "Shallow water tomography in a highly variable scenario", Proc. Acoustics Inversion Methods and Experiments for Assessment of the Shallow Water Environment, Ischia, Italy, 2004
[3] Sérgio Jesus, Cristiano Soares, Nelson Martins, "Acoustic Rapid Environmental Assessment : the AOB concept", Maritime Rapid Environmental Assessment Workshop, NURC, La Spezia, Italy, 2004
[4] Sérgio Jesus, Cristiano Soares, António Silva, J. P. Hermand, E. F. Coelho, "AOB – an easily deployable, reconfigurable and multifunctional acoustic-oceanographic system", 148th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, San Diego, USA, 2004