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An echolocation visualization and interface system for dolphin research

Publiceringsår: 2008
Språk: Engelska
Sidor: 1188-1194
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
Volym: 123
Nummer: 2
Dokumenttyp: Artikel i tidskrift
Förlag: American Institute of Physics


The present study describes the development and testing of a tool for dolphin research. This tool was able to visualize the dolphin echolocation signals as well as function as an acoustically operated “touch screen”. The system consisted of a matrix of hydrophones attached to a semi-transparent screen, which was lowered in front of an underwater acrylic panel in a dolphin pool. When a dolphin aimed its sonar beam at the screen, the hydrophones measured the received sound pressure levels. These hydrophone signals were then transferred to a computer where they were translated into a video image that corresponds to the dynamic sound pressure variations in the sonar beam and the location of the beam axis. There was a continuous projection of the image back onto the hydrophone matrix screen, giving the dolphin an immediate visual feedback to its sonar output. The system offers a whole new experimental methodology in dolphin research and since it is software-based, many different kinds of scientific questions can be addressed. The results were promising and motivate further development of the system and studies of sonar and cognitive abilities of dolphins.


  • Medical Engineering


  • ISSN: 1520-8524

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