What is a Smart Hydrophone?

A hydrophone is an underwater microphone that converts sound energy to electrical energy. When connected to an amplifier and speaker it lets us hear sounds in the water. This is an analogue hydrophone.


Digital Hydrophones eliminate the need to add preamplifiers, filters and digitizers into the instrument, replacing the output voltage with a binary stream.




Smart Hydrophones add a processor and memory to the digital hydrophone. The data can now be processed, acquire meaning, and be streamed or recorded in the instrument. Triggers, based on pre-selected conditions detect acoustic events, resulting in selectively recorded data, text message or an Event History file.


Smart Hydrophones carry their own calibration ensuring data is accurately determined.


"We have been working with Ocean Sonics in our technology demonstration program since the first prototypes. Our science users have been very impressed with the very high quality data sets. Ocean Networks Canada is expanding our hydrophone network with Ocean Sonic icListen HF smart hydrophones across our observatory including new sites across coastal BC, as part of the Smart Oceans™ program. The compact size, Ethernet interface, high reliability and exceptional performance make these systems ideal for ocean observing applications such as mammal classification, vessel and ambient noise studies. "

Scott McLean,Director, Ocean Networks Canada Innovation Centre