Produced by: Fisheries and Aquaculture Department Title: Fisheries acoustics. A practical manual for aquatic biomass estimation... More details

2.1 Direct Electrical Current (DC) 2.2 Alternating Electrical Current (AC) 2.3 Root-Mean-Square (rms) Values 2.4 Acoustic Pressure and Intensity 2.5 Decibels 2.6 Speed and Absorption of Acoustic Waves 2.7 Frequency and Wavelength 2.8 Acoustic Waves and Fish For a proper understanding of the acoustics used in fisheries it is necessary to have some knowledge of simple electricity, electromagnetic waves and acoustic waves. An important purpose of this chapter is to explain the term power, a matter which is crucial to electrical and acoustic measurements. Power is defined as the amount of energy flow per unit time, or simply as the 'work done' in a given time. It is a well known law of physics that energy can neither be created nor destroyed, but is converted from one form to another. The process of conversion from the form we have, for example electrical energy, to the form we want, perhaps acoustic, cannot be 100% efficient and consequently some may turn into an unwanted form, often heat. It is vital that measurements in fisheries acoustics are based on the true power of the signals and to explain this fully we first consider direct electrical current, then alternating current which is in turn related to acoustic factors in section 2.4.

2.1 Direct Electrical Current (DC)
Electrical energy can be stored in many ways but the simplest for the present purpose is the chemical form in a battery of cells from which direct current (DC) is obtained (current means the flow of electrons in a circuit). The laws governing electrical matters are most easily understood by the application of DC to simple electrical circuits. Figure 1.





A battery presents a steady potential difference (pd), or voltage (V) across its terminals Fig. 1, and if, for example, a lamp is connected to the terminals a direct current will flow through both circuit and battery. Work is being done because electrical energy is being converted to light as the current flows through the lamp filament. The amount of energy changed from electricity to light when measured over a period of time is known as the power (W, watts) dissipated and this is controlled by the voltage (V) of the battery and the amount of current (A) which is flowing. In fact a small proportion of the energy is 'wasted' in the form of heat but this is not important to the present explanation. Power is the product of V, volts and A, amps Power, (W, watts) = V x A (1) Current flow A is directly proportional to V but is controlled by the resistance R (ohms) of the lamp filament. A = V/R (2) If we substitute eqn 2 for A in eqn 1 Power = V x V/R = V2/R Watts (3) The relationship of power to work and energy is given in Appendix I under derived units. It is particularly important to remember that power is proportional to voltage squared. Sources of direct current are used to provide power for the operation of electronic devices and systems but have no other useful function. Direct current can be produced from rotating machines (generators), but the natural output of any such machine is an alternating current wave, the description of which is given in the next section.

2.2 Alternating Electrical Current (AC)
Figure 2. Figure 3.
www.fao.org/docrep/x5818e/x5818e03.htm 2/22

see Figure 3. intervals of 30° are used. A wave is defined as a progressive disturbance in any of these media. in the present case these quantities are continuously alternating so will not yield a correct answer (the average value in fact is www. This is shown diagrammatically in Figure 2(a). or peak-to-peak values must be recorded. if quoting from the extreme peak of one direction to the extreme peak in the other direction (peak-to-peak). If terminal P is taken as a reference. whereas with DC this could be obtained by the product of voltage V and current A.fao.org/docrep/x5818e/x5818e03. KEY PHYSICAL QUANTITIES Electronic and acoustic systems which propagate and receive energy do so by the use of electromagnetic or acoustic waves. An alternating electrical wave can be produced by the rotation of a rectangular loop of wire at a constant speed in a magnetic field. The reason is that we are concerned with the actual amount of energy involved. It is formed by the propagation of alternating tensions and pressures. Although peak. the direction of the current and its amplitude can be plotted against the angle of rotation as in Figure 2(b). it is necessary to convert them before making any calculations of power. It can be demonstrated by the laws of electromagnetic induction that the current in the loop will vary according to the angle of the loop relative to the magnetic field. or water. In its pure (undistorted) state.9/27/13 2. the amplitude and other characteristics of a sinewave can be easily measured but special care must be taken to avoid confusion.htm 3/22 . The characteristic properties of waves are the same in air. For convenience. but. then it goes through zero and reverses direction (polarity) for the next 180°. solids. It is clearly seen that the wave is going in one direction for the first 180°. The maximum values in each direction occur 90° after passing the zeroes. this is simply because they are the recognisable points of a sinewave. For example it is necessary to be absolutely clear in stating that values are from zero to maximum in one direction (peak) or. without permanently displacing the medium itself. rotating from 0° to 360°.

fao.org/docrep/x5818e/x5818e03.3 Root-Mean-Square (rms) Values We have already seen in 2. Figure 4.9/27/13 2. eqn.1 how power is calculated in a DC circuit. 2 W=VxA V = AR substituting for V in eqn. KEY PHYSICAL QUANTITIES zero). (b) www.htm 4/22 . 1 W = A2R (4) which is a more convenient form for our present purpose. We must seek the value of alternating current which does the same amount of 'work' as would a DC current if flowing in the same circuit. 2. On the same figure there is a sinewave of 3A maximum. If a DC of 3A flows through a resistor of 1 ohm the power dissipated is W = 32 x 1 = 9W and this is represented in Figure 4(a) by the area OX by XX'. 1 and transposing eqn. (a) Figure 4.

that the area under the dotted curve is half that of the area OX by XX'. that is to say. or to calculate.org/docrep/x5818e/x5818e03. Thus we can square the instantaneous values of the sinewave and. using our example having a maximum of 3A this produces the dotted curve in Figure 4(b). The instantaneous value of current is i = Amax sin w t. (c) A sinewave can be defined as Amax sin w t where Amax is the peak amplitude in each direction of the waveform. see Figure 3.fao. w t = 2p or 360° at the end of one cycle. KEY PHYSICAL QUANTITIES Figure 4.htm 5/22 .9/27/13 2. when the DC has an amplitude equal to the maximum AC the power dissipated by the AC is half of that dissipated by the DC. It is easy to see. If this is flowing in a circuit of one ohm resistance. www. the instantaneous rate of power dissipation is i2 x 1 Watts = i2 Watts.

so we can say 1/21/2 times 3. 3 divided by the square root of 2 but the ACmax value is 3.5.4. Figure 5. (5) Summing up we can say that the rms value of a voltage.2 Intensity 2. To find the rms value. KEY PHYSICAL QUANTITIES Still using the values in Figure 4 it is possible to determine the proportion of the ACmax value which gives the same power dissipation as DC.4. see Figure 5.707.2. To find the rms value from a peak-to-peak figure.5 = Then ie. In other words the sinusoidal pressure wave is converted into an equivalent electrical sinewave from which the acoustic properties can be determined. So 4.4.5A. 2. or current. Electrical powers and voltages can be cumbersome to manipulate and calculate so it is normal practice to convert these to a more convenient form. If the constant speed rotation of the shaft is transmitted by the crankpin to the piston in the manner illustrated.fao. then multiply by 0.4 Acoustic Pressure and Intensity 2. The DC to give the same power dissipation as the maximum AC is seen from Figure 4(b) to be 9/2 = 4. first divide by two. the 'work done' or the power used is the rms value.1 Pressure Pressure is most easily thought of as a mechanical force.707. is the square root of the mean (average) of all the instantaneous amounts of energy squared. It can be generated by the movement of a piston as shown in Figure 5. In acoustics we are concerned with sinewaves in a similar way to the electrical sinewaves discussed in section 2. the result is a sinusoidal motion. Any practical measurement of acoustic waves is made by observing the electrical output signal (sinewaves) of a pressure sensitive device (transducer). i.1 Pressure 2. or virtual value of AC. www.org/docrep/x5818e/x5818e03. rms is also known as the effective.htm 6/22 . This is the decibel (dB) which is described in section 2.9/27/13 2. This sets up an acoustic pressure wave of sinusoidal oscillations in the water with regions of compression and rarefaction relative to the mean pressure.e. multiply the peak value by 0.

2. Pressure is measured in micropascals (m Pa). The relationship between pressure. Energy causes force to be exerted and the oscillations of the particles comprising the medium are therefore transmitted from point to point in the water at a speed depending on the factors given in section 2. sections 2. Micropascals are used as the standard reference unit because the Pascal (1 www. particle velocity and the quantity r c is similar to that which exists in electricity between voltage.54 x 106 Rayls. At any point where these waves are found in the water.6.s. r being the density in kg/m 3 and c the speed of acoustic waves in m/s.1 and 2.org/docrep/x5818e/x5818e03. current and resistance (impedance).fao. Acoustic impedance r c is defined in terms of the constants of the medium. energy is present as a change in the normal state of stress and strain. such as water. The unit of acoustic impedance is known as the Rayl (after Lord Rayleigh) and for seawater it is approximately 1.9/27/13 2. therefore r c = kg/m 3 x m/s = kg/m 2. KEY PHYSICAL QUANTITIES Acoustic waves are a form of energy which can be propagated through a medium having distributed mass and elasticity.htm 7/22 .1. One m Pa is equal to 10-6 Newtons/m 2.

So equation 3 can be presented in acoustic terms as Intensity (I) = p2/r c (6) i. For the purpose of fisheries acoustics a plane wave can be described as one which exhibits no significant curvature of its wavefront over the length or extent of a target.5. Acoustic intensity is analogous to electrical power on the basis of the amount of energy and the time it flows or is used. KEY PHYSICAL QUANTITIES Newton/m 2) is only a factor of 10 different to the previous standard.4. It was first used in connection with telephone transmission lines (Martin. a famous inventor. passing through unit area normal to the direction in which the acoustic wave is propagated.org/docrep/x5818e/x5818e03.5 Decibels 2.1 it was stated that pressure. 1929) but is now common to all branches of electronics and acoustics.1 Power and Intensity Ratios 2.4. particle velocity and r c are analogous to the electrical quantities of voltage.9/27/13 2. current and resistance.fao. 120 dB/1m b = 220 dB/1m Pa and -100 dB/1V/1m b = -200 dB/1V/1m Pa. This concept is illustrated in Figure 6.2 Intensity Figure 6. See Appendix I and section 2.htm 8/22 .5. www. the m bar which can be seen in old textbooks. Acoustic intensity (I) is defined as the amount of energy per second (power). 2. respectively.g.2 Voltage and Pressure Ratios A decibel (dB) is one tenth of a Bel.5. e. the unit named after Alexander Graham Bell. In section 2. The intensity of an acoustic wave is referred to a plane wave of rms pressure equal to 1 m Pa at a distance of 1 m from the source. 2. To convert any figures given in dB/1m b it is necessary to add 100. the intensity is proportional to the pressure squared divided by the acoustic impedance.e.

2. kilogrammes or seconds.98 0.1 Power and Intensity Ratios Electrical power. Table 1 shows the number of decibels equivalent to power and intensity ratios. e.5 www. in the power or voltage between one part of a system and another. whilst -3 dB indicates that it is only half the reference.g.4. which when multiplied together = 2 x 1. In underwater acoustics big differences occur in intensity and pressure due to propagation losses. hereafter in the manual 10 log will be used. By converting these changes to decibels using logarithms it is possible to simplify figures and calculations of gains or losses. multiplication and division are converted into addition and subtraction. In electronics there are often very large differences. Taking logs. (W. 75.12 .fao.58 and 1. Number of Decibels Power (W) and Intensity (I) Ratio +dB 0. for example. 2.89 9/22 1. 1.02 1.5 dB is 70 + 3 + 2 + 0.5 and the corresponding ratios are 107. or changes.1 0. watts) is analogous to acoustic intensity (I) section 2. Similarly 10 log 10/1 = +10 dB and 10 log 1/10 = -10 dB 10 log 100/1 = +20 dB and 10 log 1/100 = -20 dB. The decibel notation for a power W is N = 10 log W/Wo dB where Wo is the chosen reference power similarly for an intensity I N = 10 log I/Io dB (7) where Io is the chosen reference intensity. Table 1. It is the logarithm to base 10 of a ratio. the ratios become +0.9/27/13 2.3010 respectively. A ratio relating to a decibel number not in the table can be found by ratio = Antilog (ndB/10) or 10n/10 alternatively numbers can be selected from the table of dB's to make up the number to be converted. and the same factor 10 log10 is used for both.539 x 107.12 x 107 = 3. The logarithmic ratio between two quantities one of which is twice the size of the other could be log 2/1 or log 1/2 depending on the reference.12.5. KEY PHYSICAL QUANTITIES The decibel is NOT a unit of measured quantity such as metres.org/docrep/x5818e/x5818e03. Changing these to decibels in the case of power or intensity the ratios are multiplied by 10 10 log 2/1 = +3 dB and 10 log 1/2 = -3 dB In other words +3 dB indicates that the quantity is twice as large as the reference.htm -dB 0.3010 and -0.58 x 1. Since the decibel is based on logarithms. giving the relationship between quantities. Table 1 shows the number of decibels equivalent to power and intensity ratios.

one of which is twice the size of the other. there is the same relationship between acoustic intensity and pressure (section 2.9/27/13 2. the logarithms of the ratios must be multiplied by 20 20 log 2/1 = +6 dB and 20 log 1/2 = -6 dB.99 0.00 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 1010 0.fao.01 10-3 10-4 10-5 10-6 10-7 10-8 10-9 10-10 2. Number of decibels Voltage and Pressure Ratio +dB 0.5.010 and -3.10 0. Table 2.79 0.01 1. From the example in the previous section it was shown that the logarithmic ratio between two quantities of power or intensity. (r is the density in kg/m 3 and c = acoustic wave speed in m/s).htm -dB 0. Table 2 shows the number of decibels equivalent to voltage and pressure ratios. Changing these to decibels of voltage or pressure. The decibel notation is therefore 10 log(V2/R)/(Vo2/R) = 20 log V/Vo (8) and (9) where Vo and p0 are the respective reference quantities and r c is the specific acoustic resistance of the water (analogous to resistance in the electrical circuit.98 10/22 1.26 1.25 0.010 depending on which is taken as the reference quantity.00 3.5 www.5 0.4).06 .1 0. KEY PHYSICAL QUANTITIES 1 2 3 6 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 1.58 2. is +3.98 10.org/docrep/x5818e/x5818e03.63 0.2 Voltage and Pressure Ratios In section 2.1 it was shown that power is proportional to voltage squared.

salinity and depth of the water.1 0.6 Speed and Absorption of Acoustic Waves 2. Figure 8. 2.84 0.6.00 31.0316 10-2 0.6 = -120 dB relative to 1 Volt.162 x 10-3 10-4 3. www.5 = -100 dB relative to 1 Volt 1m V = 10-6 Volts = 20 x .71 0.26 1.62 102 316.0 3.1 Absorption of Acoustic Waves The speed of acoustic waves in the sea is denoted by the symbol c and is measured in metres/second (m/s).122 1. Figure 7 shows this relationship over a useful range of voltage.41 2.79 0.fao. It is a variable dependent on the temperature. although the depth factor is not significant for fisheries acoustics.00316 10-3 3. It is evident from this figure that changes of the order of 21/2% might occur between summer and winter but this is usually considered to be insufficient to justify correction to the timing system of the echo-sounder. Figure 8 shows the variation of speed against temperature and for a number of salinities.htm 11/22 .50 0.162 x 10-4 10-5 The dB reference for voltage is often 1 Volt. KEY PHYSICAL QUANTITIES 1 2 3 6 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 1. Depth can only be measured correctly if the acoustic wave speed is known for the area being surveyed.0 103 3162 104 31622 105 0. 10-5 Volts = 20 x .16 10. in which case a measurement of less than 1 Volt must be -n dB/1 Volt.316 0.9/27/13 2. Figure 7.org/docrep/x5818e/x5818e03.

000 Hz ie 38 kHz. KEY PHYSICAL QUANTITIES The speed of an acoustic wave is c = fl (10) where c is in m/s f is in Hz l is the wavelength (see section 2.5 mm. to 40 mm.0395 m or 39.5 mm If the speed increases by 20 m/s to 1520 m/s the wavelength increases. not a significant change. by 0.htm 12/22 . the wavelength is l = 1500/38000 = 0. The frequency f is fixed in an echo-sounder but the wavelength varies with the speed of the waves l = c/f (11) assuming a speed of 1500 m/s (the most commonly used figure) and a frequency of 38.org/docrep/x5818e/x5818e03.fao. Although thermoclines (layers of water in which the temperature changes abruptly with depth) occur frequently due to a variety of www.7) in metres.9/27/13 2.

Absorption is denoted by the symbol a and is expressed in decibels per kilometre (dB/km).fao. (a) Figure 10. the consequent change in speed of acoustic waves is unimportant for echosounding purposes i.htm 13/22 . an increase in temperature gives a reduced a . some of the energy is absorbed by chemical processes. ie for each metre travelled a constant fraction of acoustic energy is lost. Variation of the values of absorption for changes in salinity at commonly used acoustic survey frequencies are plotted in Figure 10(b)(c). The loss is linear with distance. There is a marked temperature dependence but this exhibits different characteristics. at the low end of the frequency scale below 70 kHz where there is a negative gradient. Nevertheless it is recommended that the graphs in Figures 9 and 10(a)(b)(c) be used to select the value of a for surveys until further results are forthcoming.e. it increases with frequency as shown in Figure 9. (b) www. These figures are calculated from a formula derived by Fisher and Simmons (1977) after a series of experiments and it is believed to give the most accurate results currently available for fisheries acoustic work. 2. Further research is needed to confirm the validity of the results for all conditions of temperature and salinity likely to be encountered in practical surveys.org/docrep/x5818e/x5818e03. then negative as in Figure 10(a).6. KEY PHYSICAL QUANTITIES causes. Figure 9. The proportion of energy which is converted must be regarded as an acoustic loss and taken into account when calculating results.1 Absorption of Acoustic Waves As acoustic waves travel through water. At 120 kHz the gradient is first positive.9/27/13 2. Figure 10. the difference in acoustic impedance r c is too small to be detected.

org/docrep/x5818e/x5818e03.fao. KEY PHYSICAL QUANTITIES Figure 10. (c) www.htm 14/22 .9/27/13 2.

org/docrep/x5818e/x5818e03.htm 15/22 .7 Frequency and Wavelength www.9/27/13 2. KEY PHYSICAL QUANTITIES 2.fao.

ie the number of complete sinewave cycles in one second. The term w was used without explanation in section 2. The frequency of a sinewave is independent of the medium into which it is introduced i. But another characteristic of a sinewave.e. and is equal to 2p f.3 was defined as Amax sin w t and the completion of a cycle when w t = 2p .3. Thus in Figure 11 the sinewave shown has a frequency of 5 Hz. In fisheries acoustics we are concerned with a limited number of spot frequencies and much of the work has been concentrated at. the wavelength (l). i. the faster the wave travels the greater is l. the number of cycles to pass a fixed point in one second is constant. an echo-sounder cannot work unless it operates within a band of frequencies and the one always quoted is nominally the centre frequency of the band. the rate at which a particle moves through the cycle.2.fao. Figure 12. This is because the wave speed is governed by the density and bulk modulus of elasticity of the medium. is completely dependent on the physical properties of the medium through which the wave is propagated. For the frequency of 5 Hz the angular velocity is 31.htm 16/22 . Thus the power is transmitted simultaneously at all frequencies within the bandwidth and this is discussed in greater detail later in 3. Although it is convenient to talk about one frequency. Periodic time (t) is the time taken for completion of a cycle. Wavelength is defined as the distance between adjacent peaks or troughs of a sinewave. Frequency is measured in terms of cycles. KEY PHYSICAL QUANTITIES The frequency of a sinewave is defined as the number of peaks of one polarity which occur in one second.416 radians/second. therefore t = 2p /2p f = 1/f so the periodic time of a 5 Hz wave is 1/5 second.org/docrep/x5818e/x5818e03. the physical measurement in metres (m) relating to this distance. or close to.9/27/13 2. It denotes the angular velocity of a wave i. but the unit of frequency is now Hertz (Hz) after the physicist of that name.e.e. When we choose a frequency of operation for an echo-sounder we know that the medium into which it will operate is water. Figure 11. see also Figure 11. The sinewave in section 2.1. so it is possible to calculate the wavelength within fairly close limits if the speed www. or for adjacent peaks to occur. one of these ie 38 kHz.

The factors on which this quantity depends are not entirely understood.e. When a plane wave meets a boundary of two different media e. The importance of wavelength becomes apparent in the next section where we discuss some of the effects of acoustic wave interaction with fish. Figure 12. Thus we can look at the directional pattern when the orientation of the fish changes with time.8 Acoustic Waves and Fish When an acoustic wave strikes a fish a proportion of the energy is reflected and this is called the echo. (a) www. This is because the speed (c) of wave travel is related to frequency (f) and wavelength (l) as shown in eqn. The next figure 13(b) shows the same result as before but plotted on a linear angular scale. we assume that the fish remains the same shape whilst its interaction with the acoustic wave occurs.org/docrep/x5818e/x5818e03. the whole diagram is three-dimensional and would look roughly like a ball with projecting lumps. the intensity reflected in any particular direction depends on the impedance ratio of the water and fish.9/27/13 2.htm 17/22 . KEY PHYSICAL QUANTITIES of acoustic waves in the particular volume of water is known. A hypothetical plot is shown in Figure 13(a). but of course this is for one plane only. the water and the fish body. l = c/f. it may be partially reflected.g. the result can be plotted as a polar diagram. 2. Figure 13. To begin. If the fish has dimensions of the same order as the acoustic wavelength. If an arbitrary reference axis passes through a fish whose orientation is being varied and the amplitude of the echo is measured as a function of the direction of this axis. but in this section we consider some of the basic theory. 11 i. also the shape and orientation of the fish.fao.

fao. KEY PHYSICAL QUANTITIES Figure 13. (b) www.org/docrep/x5818e/x5818e03.htm 18/22 .9/27/13 2.

A fundamental property of such patterns is the closeness of the lobes and hence the rate at which successive maxima and minima of the echo occur as the fish rotates.fao. Patterns with different angular frequencies are shown in Figure 15a and b. KEY PHYSICAL QUANTITIES If the fish were steadily rotated in the plane for which Figure 13 was drawn. and it is clear that (b) has a much higher angular frequency than (a) which will lead to more rapid fluctuations of the echo. but in practice we are usually concerned only with small variations about the dorsal aspect. or lobes of the directional pattern. Figure 14. A fish could possess both of these patterns because it has a large dimension in one direction and a much smaller dimension at right angles to this.htm 19/22 .9/27/13 2. ie the angular frequency of the lobes. www.org/docrep/x5818e/x5818e03. To modulate means to 'impress information upon' and this is seen in Figure 14 where the fluctuations of the high frequency acoustic wave amplitude are due to the information' about the number and relative size of the lumps. the echo amplitude would fluctuate and the effect would be to modulate the echo wave. Figure 15.

the fish appears to generate an outward-radiating wave system by extracting a flow of energy from the passing incident waves and re-radiating it in all directions. not its absolute size e.htm 20/22 .9/27/13 2. the actual size received depends on the angle of the lobe. or lobes of the directional pattern 'pointing' in the direction of the echo-sounder acoustic axis. The number of lobes in the directional pattern is dependent on the size of the fish in wavelengths. Figure 16.org/docrep/x5818e/x5818e03. Although there is a maximum possible amplitude of echo from any particular fish. The size of the lobes. is determined by the fish size. at 38 kHz a 40 cm fish is 10 wavelengths but at 120 kHz it is 32 l. It is as if the perturbation field arises from virtual sources of acoustic energy inside the body of the fish.g. on a relative amplitude scale. Around the surface of the fish the perturbation field has a 'waviness' which matches the waves of the incident field so of course there are a finite number of wavelengths occurring in relation to the length of a fish. www. see Figure 16.fao. KEY PHYSICAL QUANTITIES The presence of a fish in the 'acoustic field' (the surrounding acoustic waves) has the effect of changing the field around the surface of the fish by adding what is called the perturbation field (perturbation means greatly disturbed). In other words.

fao.htm 21/22 . but this is not true.org/docrep/x5818e/x5818e03.9/27/13 2. the shape changes with time as the fish swims. KEY PHYSICAL QUANTITIES Discussion so far has assumed that the fish remains the same shape. The effect is that the virtual sources within its volume change position slightly which causes another kind of www.

www.5 and 4.6.fao. KEY PHYSICAL QUANTITIES modulation to the echo amplitude. either of individuals.htm 22/22 . Welsby.8 is based on notes written by the late Dr V. G. Thus it is clear that trying to predict. The next chapter deals with the instruments needed for fisheries acoustics. or known quantities and this is discussed later in section 4. or model the response from fish is difficult so we have to make measurements.org/docrep/x5818e/x5818e03. Section 2.9/27/13 2.