The Bio-acoustic Sonar measures acoustic signals of plankton and zooplankton on coastal arrays. The sonar emits sound waves into the water column which bounce off organisms back towards the sensor in a phenomenon known as “backscatter.” The more organisms, the higher the backscatter. Some Bio-acoustic Sonars are situated in the coastal environment (ZPLSC), while others are at the open-ocean global arrays (ZPLSG). There are cabled instruments that stream data back to shore in near real-time, and others that are uncabled and send decimated data back via telemetry; the full dataset is downloaded and made available following recovery.


Data Products

This instrument measures the following data products. Select a data product's name to learn more.

Data Product Code DPS
Multi-Frequency Acoustic Backscatter SONBSCA

The algorithm code used to generate data products for this instrument is also available in the ion-functions GitHub repository.

Instrument Models & Deployed Locations

The OOI includes the following instrument makes and models for this instrument type. Follow the links below to find out where in the OOI this instrument has been deployed. You'll also find quick links for each instrument to Data portal, where you can plot and access data.

Class-Series Make Model
ZPLSCB Kongsberg Modified EK-60
ZPLSCC ASL Environmental Sciences AZFP
ZPLSGA ASL Environmental Sciences AZFP

Reference Information

Cabled sonar instruments (ZPLSC-B; Kongsberg Simrad EK60 Echo Sounder) sense active acoustic pressure waves at 38 kHz and 200 kHz on single channel transducers, and on a 120 kHz split beam transducer.

Uncabled Coastal sonar units (ZPLSC-C; ASL Acoustic Zooplankton Fish Profiler) operate on 4 channels at 38, 125, 200, and 455 kHZ.

Uncabled Global sonar units (ZPLSG-A; ASL Acoustic Zooplankton Fish Profiler) operate on 4 channels at 38, 70, 125, and 200 kHz.

Primary Science Discipline


Research Themes

Access Data

ZPLSC and ZPSLG on the Data Portal

An example echogram from the bioacoustic sonar instrument on the Endurance Array Oregon Offshore Shallow Profiler platform. The profiler body is causing the solid line, as it moves up and down in the water column taking measurements.