Long-term field tests of a low-cost acoustic telemetry system were carried out at two sites in Massachusetts Bay. At each site, an acoustic Doppler current profiler mounted on a bottom tripod was fitted with an acoustic modem to transmit data to a surface buoy; electronics mounted on the buoy relayed these data to shore via radio modem. The mooring at one site (24 m water depth) was custom-designed for the telemetry application, with a custom designed small buoy, a flexible electro-mechanical buoy to mooring joint using a molded chain connection to the buoy, quick-release electro-mechanical couplings, and dual hydrophones suspended 7 m above the bottom. The surface buoy at the second site (33 m water depth) was a U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) channel buoy fitted with telemetry electronics and clamps to hold the hydrophones. The telemetry was tested in several configurations for a period of about four years. The custom-designed buoy and mooring provided nearly error-free data transmission through the acoustic link under a variety of oceanographic conditions for 261 days at the 24 m site. The electro mechanical joint, cables and couplings required minimal servicing and were very reliable, lasting 862 days deployed before needing repairs. The acoustic communication results from the USCG buoy were poor, apparently due to the hard cobble bottom, noise from the all-steel buoy, and failure of the hydrophone assembly. Access to the USCG buoy at sea required ideal weather. ??2006 IEEE.
Additional publication details
Field tests of acoustic telemetry for a portable coastal observatory