Comparing Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) and Vessel-based Tracking Performance for Locating Acoustically Tagged Fish.

  • Eiler J
  • Grothues T
  • Dobarro J
 et al. 
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Autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV's) are increasingly used to collect physical, chemical, and biological information in the marine environment. Recent efforts include merging AUV technology with acoustic telemetry to provide information on the distribution and movements of marine fish. We compared surface vessel and AUV tracking capabilities under rigorous conditions in coastal waters near Juneau, Alaska. Tracking surveys were conducted with a REMUS 100 AUV equipped with an integrated acoustic receiver and hydrophone. The AUV was programmed to navigate along predetermined routes to detect both reference transmitters at 20-500 m depths and tagged fish and crabs in situ. Comparable boat surveys were also conducted. Transmitter depth had a major impact on tracking performance. The AUV was equally effective or better than the boat at detecting reference transmitters in shallow water, and significantly better for transmitters at deeper depths. Similar results were observed for tagged animals. Red king crab, Paralithodes camtschaticus, at moderate depths were recorded by both tracking methods, while only the AUV detected Sablefish, Anoplopoma fimbria, at depths exceeding 500 m. Strong currents and deep depths caused problems with AUV navigation, position estimation, and operational performance, but reflect problems encountered by other AUV applications that will likely diminish with future advances, enhanced methods, and increased use. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

Author-supplied keywords

  • MARINE fishes
  • MILITARY vehicles
  • UNITED States

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  • John H Eiler

  • Thomas M Grothues

  • Joseph a Dobarro

  • Michele M Masuda

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