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Designing practical on-site calibration protocols for acoustic systems: key elements and pitfalls

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conference contribution
posted on 23.07.2015, 10:46 by Michael Butler, Jennifer Norris, Paul Lepper
Although acoustic systems are increasingly being used for environmental and noise surveys of marine energy devices, there are currently no standard protocols for the on-site full bandwidth calibration of these systems. Reports often include little or no information on the methods of calibration used before, during or after surveys. Without proper calibration, the sound levels may be far from accurate, leading to skewed reporting and inaccurate conclusions. Hydrophone calibrations from internationally recognised standardisation centres, such as NPL, allow providers to reference their systems to international standards. Marine renewable energy devices, however, are often deployed in remote areas and it is not always practical or cost-effective to send every acoustic system to be independently tested before every deployment. On-site referencing of multiple units to a single standardised system can help improve calibration traceability. Although this may at first appear relatively simple, the production of an accurate, full-spectrum calibration, particularly in real-world test sites, is surprisingly difficult.


Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) scheme, organised and funded by the Technology Strategy Board (TSB), UK.



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering

Published in

Underwater Acoustics UA2014


BUTLER, M., NORRIS, J. and LEPPER, P., 2014. Designing practical on-site calibration protocols for acoustic systems: key elements and pitfalls. IN: UA2014 - 2nd International Conference and Exhibition on Underwater Acoustics, Rhodes, Greece, 22 - 27 June 2014, pp.223-230.




SMUR (Submitted Manuscript Under Review)

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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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This is a conference paper.






Rhodes, Greece

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