Environmental Impacts

Automated Animal Classification

Led by Bing Ouyang, Ph.D.
Affiliated Home Campus: FAU Harbor Branch
Affiliated Department: FAU Harbor Branch
REU Scholar: Kelvin Pang
REU Scholar Home Institution: UC Berkeley


The overarching goal of the proposed work is to develop a transformative Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUV) based underwater deployable hydrophone sensor network (UDSN) that can identify marine species near ocean current turbine (OCT) installations based on the acoustic signatures that they create. This acoustic signature based approach will complement the images acquired using the LiDAR imaging systems (a concurrent REU project) to accurately identify the protected animals near OCT sites. The year 1 objective of this project is to design and construct one UICSA prototype and demonstrate the feasibility of the system in a test tank environment. The outcome of this project should provide the foundation for future endeavors to investigate the UDSN for large area surveillance in a non-ideal OCT monitoring environment.

Under the supervision of FAU Harbor Branch faculty and research associate, the student will work on the construction of an underwater inflatable co-prime sonar array (UICSA) prototype. The subtasks to support this objective are as follows:

  1. Component level mechanical and electronic design. We will conduct functional baseline and requirements analysis, and detailed analyses of operational requirements will be completed. The analyses involve key subsystems functional requirements; for example, the source frequency is determined by compromising between the tank environment and the processing algorithm. A preliminary design review (PDR) will be conducted. Following PDR, subsystem level specification and design will be conducted. Two main challenges – the suction anchor design and the due purpose underwater pump design will be properly addressed. A critical design review (CDR) will be conducted after the subsystem and component level design.
  2. Fabrication and in-water testing of each component; assembling the UICSA system and the active source. Following CDR, the components such as the housings for hydrophone and data logger, and subsystems such as the electronic subsystem, the inflatable structure, the pumps and the suction anchors will be fabricated at FAU Harbor Branch. For the mechanical structures, we will attempt to use 3D printer when possible but will leverage the FAU Harbor Branch machine shop to fabricate the parts when necessary. Each subsystem will be individually tested in the underwater environment in the FAU Harbor Branch test tank.

Click here to watch the student presentation.

HBOI ocean fish