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Ref.: SiPLAB Report 02/14, SiPLAB, University of Algarve,2014.
The long term goal of this initiative is to contribute to sperm whale conservation by developing an effective detection and localization system being able to feed information into navigation systems for ship - whale collision avoidance. The EDELWEISS'14 sea trial was an initial step toward this goal by acquiring acoustic data from a pinger to test and validate source localization algorithms in configurations compatible with sperm whale behavior and, if possible, obtain actual sperm whale vocalization acoustic recordings. Weather conditions in the area limited the period and zone for effective work as well as the number and duration of acoustic deployments. After several long runs up and down along the west coast of Zakynthos Island no sperm whale could be detected and therefore activities concentrated on simulating sperm whale dives using an acoustic pinger. Receptions were made with two Acoustic Oceanographic Buoys (AOBs) during three days which data sets are described in this report. The data shows well defined received pings for relatively long periods of time and encompassing a variety of geometries both in terms of source - receiver distance and source depth over deep water (1000 m or more) areas. Although some technical problems arouse in the GPS of one of the AOBs and synchronization problems in the other buoy, the data shows the potential for further processing and algorithm testing as long as no precise localization is required.