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 2008/56/CE. 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.
Plan Estatal de Investigación Científica y Técnica y de Innovación 2017-2020
Programa Estatal de I+D+i Orientada a los Retos de la Sociedad