Ultrasonic recording system without intrinsic limits

Tórur Andreassen, Annemarie Surlykke, John Hallam, David Brandt

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Today state-of-the-art bioacoustic research requires high-sample-rate, multi-channel, and often long-term recording systems. Commercial systems are very costly. This paper proposes and demonstrates an ultrasonic recording system design that is arbitrarily scalable. The system is modular and based on retail components and open source software/hardware. Each module has four microphones and modules can be combined to extend the coverage area, obtain higher spatial recording resolution, and/or add recording redundancy. The system is designed to have no inherent scalability limits. The system has been deployed in four different test settings. The first setup tests the system's ability to make medium-term recordings (1 to 2 min) with many microphones. The second setup tests the robustness of the system, being deployed throughout the Danish winter with only minor issues. The third setup integrates the system in a mobile robot as an echolocating guidance system, while the fourth setup demonstrates full-spectrum transducer calibration. In most respects this system's hardware specification surpasses all competitors on the market at a quarter of the price. Tests demonstrate that large deployments are feasible and accurate ultrasonic measurements can be obtained.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAcoustical Society of America. Journal
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)4008-4018
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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