Positioning aquatic animals with acoustic transmitters

  • September 4, 2023
  • by Robert J. Lennox, Kim Aarestrup, Josep Alós, Robert Arlinghaus, Eneko Aspillaga, Michael G. Bertram, Kim Birnie-Gauvin, Tomas Brodin, Steven J. Cooke, Lotte S. Dahlmo, Félicie Dhellemmes, Karl Ø. Gjelland, Gustav Hellström, Henry Hershey, Christopher Holbrook, Thomas Klefoth, Susan Lowerre-Barbieri, Christopher T. Monk, Cecilie Iden Nilsen, Ine Pauwels, Renanel Pickholtz, Marie Prchalová, Jan Reubens, Milan Říha, David Villegas-Ríos, Knut Wiik Vollset, Samuel Westrelin & Henrik Baktoft


  1. Geolocating aquatic animals with acoustic tags has been ongoing for decades, relying on the detection of acoustic signals at multiple receivers with known positions to calculate a 2D or 3D position, and ultimately recreate the path of an aquatic animal from detections at fixed stations.
  2. This method of underwater geolocation is evolving with new software and hardware options available to help investigators design studies and calculate positions using solvers based predominantly on time-difference-of-arrival and time-of-arrival.
  3. We provide an overview of the considerations necessary to implement positioning in aquatic acoustic telemetry studies, including how to design arrays of receivers, test performance, synchronize receiver clocks and calculate positions from the detection data. We additionally present some common positioning algorithms, including both the free open-source solvers and the ‘black-box’ methods provided by some manufacturers for calculating positions.
  4. This paper is the first to provide a comprehensive overview of methods and considerations for designing and implementing better positioning studies that will support users, and encourage further knowledge advances in aquatic systems.

Publication Date
September 4, 2023

PUBLICATION AVAILABLE AT: https://doi.org/10.1111/2041-210X.14191