Extensible 3D (X3D) graphics for visualizing marine mammal reaction to underwater sound on the Southern California ASW Range (SOAR)
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U.S. Navy use of sonar is essential for national defense, but its potential impacts on marine mammals are not well understood. Predictive models have been developed, but the need still exists for modeling actual marine mammal reaction during Navy exercises. The goal of this thesis is to develop a tool that can assimilate data collected from on-range exercises for visualizing and quantifying marine mammal reactions to underwater sound. In this thesis, X3D Graphics is used to model an acoustic source, as well as visualize acoustic and GPS tracking data collected during exercises. Generating geo-referenced, time synchronized 3D scenes of an August 2006 test, marine mammal positions and tracks of two research boats are displayed over realistic bathymetry. From a separate August 2004 experiment, acoustic transmissions and tracking of a training target are modeled. These demonstrate the essential components needed for visualization of marine mammal reactions during an ASW exercise. Potential future work includes utilizing this system to model multiple SOAR exercises, which will provide baseline data analyses to better understand marine mammal vulnerabilities and improve Navy mitigation procedures.
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