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Methods for tracking multiple marine mammals with wide-baseline passive acoustic arrays
Nosal, E.-M. (2013). Methods for tracking multiple marine mammals with wide-baseline passive acoustic arrays. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 134(3): 2383-2392.
In: The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. American Institute of Physics: New York. ISSN 0001-4966, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    Microphones Speed of sound Agroacoustics Acoustic modeling Time measurement Acoustic sensing Acoustic source localization Cluster analysis Data analysis Comparative animal models

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  • Nosal, E.-M.

    Most methods used to track marine mammals with passive acoustics require that time differences of arrivals (TDOAs) are established and are associated between hydrophone pairs. Consequently, multiple animal trackers commonly apply single-animal TDOA localization methods after performing a call separation and/or TDOA association step. When a wide-baseline array is used with multiple animals that make similar calls with short inter-call-intervals, the separation/association step can be challenging and potentially rejects valid TDOAs. This paper extends a model-based TDOA method to deal with multiple-animal datasets in a way that does not require a TDOA association step; animals are separated based on position. Advantageously, false TDOAs (e.g., a direct path associated with a multipath arrival) do not need to be removed. An analogous development is also presented for a model-based time of arrival tracking method. Results from simulations and application to a multiple sperm whale dataset are used to illustrate the multiple-animal methods. Although computationally more demanding than most track-after-association methods because separation is performed in a higher-dimensional space, the methods are computationally tractable and represent a useful new tool in the suite of options available for tracking multiple animals with passive acoustics.

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