PALAOA – Transmitting live from the Ocean below the Antarctic Ice

22 01 2010

Map of the PALAOA area

Overview PALAOA area

You can listen to the underwater sound of the Antarctic Ocean with a delay of a few seconds here.

  • MP3 audio stream
  • – should work on any computer right off the box, otherwise please check your browser or default multimedia player settings.

Please note, this transmission is not optimized for easy listening, but for scientific research. It is highly compressed (24kBit Ogg-Vorbis), so sound quality is far from perfect. Additionally, animal voices may be very faint. Amplifier settings are a compromise between picking up distant animals and not overdriving the system by nearby calving icebergs. So you might need to pump up the volume – but beware of sudden extreamely loud events.

most recent spectrogram

Most Recent Spectrogram

Providing an acoustic live stream of the Antarctic underwater soundscape is a formidable challange. After all, more than 15000 km lie between Antarctica and our institute in Germany. Underwater sound is recorded by means of two hydrophones by PALAOA, an autonomous, wind and solar powered observatory located on the Ekström ice shelf (Boebel et al., 2006). The data stream is transmitted via wireless LAN from PALAOA to the German Neumayer Base. From there, a permanent satellite link transmits the data to the AWI in Germany.

A constant hiss pervading the signal is partly due to electronic noise as we push the hydrophone amplifiers to their limits, but also the natural ocean background noise made audible here through the use of ultra sensitive hydrophones. Additional broad band noise caused by wind, waves and currents adds to it on occasion. There a three sources of click-like interference: switching relais, electrostatic discharges caused by snow drift, and sferics produced by thunderstorms ten thousands of kilometers away. Due to the limited bandwith of the satellite link, jamming of the WLAN link due to storms, or energy shortage, the connection might temporarily be down or scrammed. In this case, please dial in later!

Read more (pdf)

All material © 2008 AWI

Advertisements

Actions

Information

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: