Development of a simplified ray path model for estimating the range and depth of vocalising marine mammals

A simplified ray path model has been developed to simulate various source, receiver geometries. The difference in the arrival time of the multi-path signals (surface and seabed reflections) were calculated and compared with those measured on recorded data obtained during sea trials. A number of assumption have been made in initial models including a constant sound velocity-depth profile and the treatment of the surface and seabed as a simple reflecting surfaces. Initial results have shown a number of examples with a reasonable correlation between estimated position of a submerged cetacean and the associated surface observations. Examples of multiple (positioning) solutions were however found, these are in the main thought to be due to imprecision in the knowledge of the hydrophone and water depth and inaccuracies in the initial timing measurements. The use of correlation techniques and stand-alone depth measurement devices is therefore proposed for future measurements and analysis using this technique. It is felt that within constraints, this technique provides valuable additional information regarding cetacean behaviour in the wild and can be used on recorded data sets to validate observer records. The addition of more complex time measurement techniques and better ray path modelling will hopefully provide a useful analysis tool in the study of cetaceans.