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Underwater acoustic systems for monitoring the spatial behaviour of species

Total activity: 5
Type of activity
Competitive project
Funding entity
Funding entity code
105.270,00 €
Start date
End date
The systematic localization and tracking studies of marine species enables to provide information on their activity and mobility patterns,
which is a required knowledge for a sustainable management of the fisheries involved. To allow this tracking, the implementation of
acoustic labels (TAG) is widely used by scientists, which is the main system to perform behavioural studies of underwater species.
However, this technology has not evolved much over the past years. Therefore, this system does not offer the desired results to the
scientific community in order to study behavioural characteristics which are more and more complex and specific.
TAGs allow us to know the presence or absence of a specific species inside an area. In general, these zones are commonly large, about
hundreds of meters. Therefore, this technology has been implemented to learn aspects such as migration or the differences between
day/night activities of a tagged species. However, this technology has some limitations, for example: no real-time data is available, the
accuracy is greater than 5 m. As well as, the necessity of multiple receptors, which have to be moored with high precision, increasing the
deployment costs for deeper waters.
In order to improve the accuracy of the current devices, a new TAG with vast improvements will be designed. For example, integrating
bidirectional acoustic communication, which allows a triangulation system using Range-Only method, this will increase the geolocation
accuracy of benthonic and pelagic species, and using OFDM modulation, which will increase the communications robustness and range.
Moreover, different sensors will be integrated in the TAGs, which will offer environmental parameters using the transects performed by the
tagged species. This will provide some waters physical and chemical characteristics required by European Parliament, directive
In order to avoid the receptors mooring costs, autonomous underwater vehicles will be used, using Single-Beacon methods. Avoiding the
mooring receptors implies that the coverage area is not static, and therefore, this method can be easily adapted in front of different random
scenarios and circumstances.
On the other hand, the common receptors, used to read the acoustic labels, are designed to be installed in fixed systems, either anchored
on the seafloor or in surface buoys, and they use proprietary communication protocols and modulation systems. To improve this aspect, a
new receptor system is proposed, which will incorporate technical improvements to obtain in-situ information related on the position and
evolution of the tagged species. Changing these systems which are working only as a data loggers, for more intelligent systems, allow us
to perform corrections in real-time and in-situ without to have to wait until a post-processing at the end of the campaign, when the margin
of manoeuvre is zero.
Range-Only-Single-Beacon, acoustic communications, algoritmos de posicionamiento, autonomous sensor nodes, autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV), benthic and pelagic species, comunicaciones acústicas, especies bentónicas y pelágicas, nodos submarinos inalámbricos, positioning algorithms, remote tracking, seguimiento remoto, vehículos autónomos submarinos (AUV)
Adm. Estat
Plan Estatal de Investigación Científica y Técnica y de Innovación 2017-2020
Resoluton year
Funcding program
Programa Estatal de I+D+i Orientada a los Retos de la Sociedad
Funding call
Retos de Investigación: Proyectos de I+D+i
Grant institution
Agencia Estatal De Investigacion


Scientific and technological production

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