WHOI to Build 3-D Acoustic Telescope

WOODS HOLE –Thanks to a $1 million grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation, a first-of-its-kind acoustic telescope is under development at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, allowing researchers to map and study the underwater soundscape.

Like an optical telescope, the acoustic telescope will give scientists the ability to focus in on individual sounds originating from long distances and direct observation of phenomena including waves, rainfall, earthquakes, and more that produce telltale acoustic signatures.

The new piece of equipment will also be sensitive to a broad range of frequencies to help map the complexity of sounds in the ocean and enable a more nuanced view of both the natural, and human-generated underwater soundscape.

Once constructed, the telescope will be deployed at the edge of the continental shelf off the Northeast Coast of the U.S. to give it an unobstructed “view” of the Atlantic basin.

The interdisciplinary project will be led by WHOI acoustic scientists Ying-Tsong “Y.T.” Lin and Daniel Zitterbart, as well as numerous technicians representing a wide range of disciplines from inside, and outside of WHOI.

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