Bassett Christopher

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  • Article
    Direct inference of first-year sea ice thickness using broadband acoustic backscattering
    (Acoustical Society of America, 2020-02-06) Bassett, Christopher ; Lavery, Andone C. ; Lyons, Anthony P. ; Wilkinson, Jeremy P. ; Maksym, Ted
    Accurate measurements of sea ice thickness are critical to better understand climate change, to provide situational awareness in ice-covered waters, and to reduce risks for communities that rely on sea ice. Nonetheless, remotely measuring the thickness of sea ice is difficult. The only regularly employed technique that accurately measures the full ice thickness involves drilling a hole through the ice. Other presently used methods are either embedded in or through the ice (e.g., ice mass balance buoys) or calculate thickness from indirect measurements (e.g., ice freeboard from altimetry; ice draft using sonars; total snow and ice thickness using electromagnetic techniques). Acoustic techniques, however, may provide an alternative approach to measure the total ice thickness. Here laboratory-grown sea ice thicknesses, estimated by inverting the time delay between echoes from the water-ice and ice-air interfaces, are compared to those measured using ice cores. A time-domain model capturing the dominant scattering mechanisms is developed to explore the viability of broadband acoustic techniques for measuring sea ice thickness, to compare with experimental measurements, and to investigate optimal frequencies for in situ applications. This approach decouples ice thickness estimates from water column properties and does not preclude ice draft measurements using the same data.
  • Article
    Frequency- and depth-dependent target strength measurements of individual mesopelagic scatterers
    (Acoustical Society of America, 2020-08-18) Bassett, Christopher ; Lavery, Andone C. ; Stanton, Timothy K. ; DeWitt Cotter, Emma
    Recent estimates based on shipboard echosounders suggest that 50% or more of global fish biomass may reside in the mesopelagic zone (depths of ∼200–1000 m). Nonetheless, little is known about the acoustic target strengths (TS) of mesopelagic animals because ship-based measurements cannot resolve individual targets. As a result, biomass estimates of mesopelagic organisms are poorly constrained. Using an instrumented tow-body, broadband (18–90 kHz) TS measurements were obtained at depths from 70 to 850 m. A comparison between TS measurements at-depth and values used in a recent global estimate of mesopelagic biomass suggests lower target densities at most depths.
  • Article
    Broadband acoustic backscatter from crude oil under laboratory-grown sea ice
    (Acoustical Society of America, 2016-10-04) Bassett, Christopher ; Lavery, Andone C. ; Maksym, Ted
    In ice-covered seas, traditional air-side oil spill detection methods face practical challenges. Conversely, under-ice remote sensing techniques are increasingly viable due to improving operational capabilities of autonomous and remotely operated vehicles. To investigate the potential for under-ice detection of oil spills using active acoustics, laboratory measurements of high-frequency, broadband backscatter (75–590 kHz) from crude oil layers (0.7–8.1 cm) under and encapsulated within sea ice were performed at normal and 20 incidence angles. Discrete interfaces (water-oil, oil-ice, and ice-oil) are identifiable in observations following oil injections under the ice and during the subsequent encapsulation. A one-dimensional model for the total normal incidence backscatter from oil under ice, constrained by oil sound speed measurements from 10 C to 20 C and improved environmental measurements compared to previous studies, agrees well with preencapsulation observations. At 20 incidence angles echoes from the ice and oil under ice are more complex and spatially variable than normal incidence observations, most likely due to interface roughness and volume inhomogeneities. Encapsulated oil layers are only detected at normal incidence. The results suggest that high-frequency, broadband backscatter techniques may allow under-ice remote sensing for the detection and quantification of oil spills.
  • Article
    Classification of broadband target spectra in the mesopelagic using physics-informed machine learning
    (Acoustical Society of America, 2021-06-04) DeWitt Cotter, Emma ; Bassett, Christopher ; Lavery, Andone C.
    Broadband echosounders measure the scattering response of an organism over a range of frequencies. When compared with acoustic scattering models, this response can provide insight into the type of organism measured. Here, we train the k-Nearest Neighbors algorithm using scattering models and use it to group target spectra (25–40 kHz) measured in the mesopelagic near the New England continental shelf break. Compared to an unsupervised approach, this creates groupings defined by their scattering physics and does not require significant tuning. The model classifies human-annotated target spectra as gas-bearing organisms (at, below, or above resonance) or fluid-like organisms with a weighted F1-score of 0.90. Class-specific F1-scores varied—the F1-score exceeded 0.89 for all gas-bearing organisms, while fluid-like organisms were classified with an F1-score of 0.73. Analysis of classified target spectra provides insight into the size and distribution of organisms in the mesopelagic and allows for the assessment of assumptions used to calculate organism abundance. Organisms with resonance peaks between 25 and 40 kHz account for 43% of detections, but a disproportionately high fraction of volume backscatter. Results suggest gas bearing organisms account for 98.9% of volume backscattering concurrently measured using a 38 kHz shipboard echosounder between 200 and 800 m depth. I. INTRODUCTI
  • Article
    Exploiting signal processing approaches for broadband echosounders
    (International Council for the Exploration of the Sea, 2017-08-28) Lavery, Andone C. ; Bassett, Christopher ; Lawson, Gareth L. ; Jech, J. Michael
    Broadband echosounders, which transmit frequency-modulated pulses, increase the spectral characterization of targets relative to narrowband echosounders, which typically transmit single-frequency pulses, and also increase the range resolution through broadband matched-filter signal processing approaches. However, the increased range resolution does not necessarily lead to improved detection and characterization of targets close to boundaries due to the presence of undesirable signal processing side lobes. The standard approach to mitigating the impact of processing side lobes is to transmit tapered signals, which has the consequence of also reducing spectral information. To address this, different broadband signal processing approaches are explored using data collected in a large tank with both a Kongsberg–Simrad EK80 scientific echosounder with a combination of single- and split-beam transducers with nominal centre frequencies of 18, 38, 70, 120, 200, and 333 kHz, and with a single-beam custom-built echosounder spanning the frequency band from 130 to 195 kHz. It is shown that improved detection and characterization of targets close to boundaries can be achieved by using modified replica signals in the matched filter processing. An additional benefit to using broadband echosounders involves exploiting the frequency dependence of the beam pattern to calibrate single-beam broadband echosounders using an off-axis calibration sphere.
  • Article
    Adaptable monitoring package development and deployment: lessons learned for integrated instrumentation at marine energy sites
    (MDPI, 2020-07-24) Polagye, Brian ; Joslin, James ; Murphy, Paul ; DeWitt Cotter, Emma ; Scott, Mitchell ; Gibbs, Paul ; Bassett, Christopher ; Stewart, Andrew
    Integrated instrumentation packages are an attractive option for environmental and ecological monitoring at marine energy sites, as they can support a range of sensors in a form factor compact enough for the operational constraints posed by energetic waves and currents. Here we present details of the architecture and performance for one such system—the Adaptable Monitoring Package—which supports active acoustic, passive acoustic, and optical sensing to quantify the physical environment and animal presence at marine energy sites. we describe cabled and autonomous deployments and contrast the relatively limited system capabilities in an autonomous operating mode with more expansive capabilities, including real-time data processing, afforded by shore power or in situ power harvesting from waves. Across these deployments, we describe sensor performance, outcomes for biological target classification algorithms using data from multibeam sonars and optical cameras, and the effectiveness of measures to limit biofouling and corrosion. On the basis of these experiences, we discuss the demonstrated requirements for integrated instrumentation, possible operational concepts for monitoring the environmental and ecological effects of marine energy converters using such systems, and the engineering trade-offs inherent in their development. Overall, we find that integrated instrumentation can provide powerful capabilities for observing rare events, managing the volume of data collected, and mitigating potential bias to marine animal behavior. These capabilities may be as relevant to the broader oceanographic community as they are to the emerging marine energy sector.
  • Article
    Laboratory measurements of high-frequency, acoustic broadband backscattering from sea ice and crude oil
    (Acoustical Society of America, 2014-12-18) Bassett, Christopher ; Lavery, Andone C. ; Maksym, Ted ; Wilkinson, Jeremy P.
    Recent decreases in summer sea ice cover are spurring interest in hydrocarbon extraction and shipping in Arctic waters, increasing the risk of an oil spill in ice covered waters. With advances in unmanned vehicle operation, there is an interest in identifying techniques for remote, underwater detection of oil spills from below. High-frequency (200–565 kHz), broadband acoustic scattering data demonstrate that oil can be detected and quantified under laboratory grown sea ice and may be of use in natural settings. A simple scattering model based on the reflection coefficients from the interfaces agrees well with the data.