Journal Article

Definition of signal-to-noise ratio and its critical role in split-beam measurements

Robert Kieser, Pall Reynisson and Timothy J. Mulligan

in ICES Journal of Marine Science

Published on behalf of ICES/CIEM

Volume 62, issue 1, pages 123-130
Published in print January 2005 | ISSN: 1054-3139
Published online January 2005 | e-ISSN: 1095-9289 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.icesjms.2004.09.006
Definition of signal-to-noise ratio and its critical role in split-beam measurements

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The signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) plays a critical role in any measurement but is particularly important in fisheries acoustics where both signal and noise can change by orders of magnitude and may have large variations. “Textbook situations” exist where the SNR is clearly defined, but fisheries-acoustic measurements are generally not in this category as signal and noise come from a wide range of sources that change with location, depth, and ocean conditions. This paper defines the SNR and outlines its measurement using split-beam data. Its effect on target-strength (TS) measurements is explored. Recommendations are given for the routine use of the SNR in fisheries-acoustic measurements. This work also suggests a new equation for TS estimation that is important at low SNR.

Keywords: digital data; echosounding; noise; reverberation; signal-to-noise ratio; split beam; target-strength bias

Journal Article.  4380 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Environmental Science ; Marine and Estuarine Biology

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