Detection and Characterization of Hydrocarbon Droplets Using Broadband Echosounders

TitleDetection and Characterization of Hydrocarbon Droplets Using Broadband Echosounders
Publication TypeJournal Article
AuthorsLoranger, S, Weber, TC
JournalThe Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
Date PublishedNovember 15
PublisherAcoustical Society of America

Investigation of the fate and transport of liquid hydrocarbons is limited by the small field of view of current instrumentation. Mass spectrometers, fluorometers, and megahertz sonars—the typical instrumentation for detection and classification of liquid hydrocarbons in the marine environment are limited to detections are ranges of less than a few tens of meters. Lower frequency (80–500 kHz) broadband acoustic backscattering from weakly scattering liquid hydrocarbon targets has been investigated using a novel droplet making device. Results show that such instrumentation should be capable of detections at significantly greater ranges than current instrumentation. The results are compared to a variety of models of acoustic scattering from spherical targets to determine the most accurate model for predicting the frequency response of weakly scattering spheres. The frequency response can be used to characterize the liquid hydrocarbon droplets, as long as the acoustic impedance of the hydrocarbon is well known for the range of temperatures and pressures affecting the droplet.

Refereed DesignationRefereed