Acoustic detection range of right whale upcalls identified in near-real time from a moored buoy and a Slocum glider


The goal of this study was to characterize the detection range of a near real-time baleen whale detection system, the digital acoustic monitoring instrument/low-frequency detection and classification system (DMON/LFDCS), equipped on a Slocum glider and a moored buoy. As a reference, a hydrophone array was deployed alongside the glider and buoy at a shallow-water site southwest of Martha’s Vineyard (Massachusetts, USA) over a four-week period in spring 2017. A call-by-call comparison between North Atlantic right whale upcalls localized with the array (n = 541) and those detected by the glider or buoy was used to estimate the detection function for each DMON/LFDCS platform. The probability of detection was influenced by range, ambient noise level, platform depth, detection process, review protocol, and calling rate. The conservative analysis of near real-time pitch tracks suggested that, under typical conditions, a 0.33 probability of detection of a single call occurred at 6.2 km for the buoy and 8.6–13.4 km for the glider (depending on glider depth), while a 0.10 probability of detection of a single call occurred at 14.4 m for the buoy and 22.6–27.5 km for the glider. Probability of detection is predicted to increase substantially at all ranges if more than one call is available for detection.

Journal of the Acoustical Society of America