Acoustics Measurement Buoy

Primary tabs

Project Type: 

Students Involved:

Laurel Gaudet University of New Hampshire
Kevin Jerram University of New Hampshire
Ashley Risso University of New Hampshire

Faculty Advisors:

Kenneth Baldwin UNH - Department of Mechanical Engineering

This report discusses the progress of the Acoustics Measurement Buoy project as part of the University of New Hampshire's Ocean Projects TECH 797 class, Undergraduate Ocean Research Projects. Fish shock and mortality have been linked with sound pressure levels in excess of 190 dB (re 1 uPa) associated with pile driving into marine sediments in estuaries and surrounding areas. The Acoustics Measurement Buoy was designed to measure and record sound pressure levels at multiple depths over multiple deployments to aid in modeling sound attenuation around estuarine construction sites and allow in-field evaluation of sound attenuation techniques developed for pile driving activities.

A taut mooring line supports multiple hydrophones at different depths to measure sound pressure level (SPL) and temperature loggers to record temperature at the depths of sound pressure measurements. Hydrophone signals are transmitted to a central data acquisition system housed in a surface buoy. The system is intended to be deployed at various distances from the sound source in order to measure changes in SPL with distance. Three ranges of sound pressure level are of specific interest during pile driving activities: where SPL > 220 dB, 180 dB < SPL < 220 dB, and SPL < 180dB. The Acoustics Measurement Buoy may be used for on-site evaluation of sound attenuation techniques used during pile driving activities.


Available from the National Sea Grant Library (use NHU number to search) or NH Sea Grant


  • Acoustics measurement buoy (2006). Laurel Gaudet, Kevin Jerram and Ashley Risso. Advisor: Kenneth Baldwin.