Mobile autonomous vehicles equipped with acoustic sensors allow us to collect data on animal abundance and assess distribution with high spatial and temporal resolution in remote and inaccessible areas. The Yang Center has been involved in the development of acoustic deep-diving underwater vehicles (oceanographic gliders and floats), ocean surface vehicles (robotic sailboats), as well as aerial vehicles (balloons) for use in acoustic monitoring projects. These systems typically feature a bi-directional satellite communication system and can be operated anywhere in the world out of our offices in Ithaca, New York!
We are always keeping an eye out for new off-the-shelf autonomous systems which can potentially be equipped with acoustic sensors and used to collect valuable data in support of conservation efforts. Since these systems are fairly new, we are spending a considerable amount of time evaluating their monitoring performance compared to traditional systems (e.g., stationary recording units).