Sunday, June 16, 2024

Scientists Have Created A New Dolphin-Inspired Sonar


Scientists from the National University of Singapore’s Tropical Marine Science Institute  have created a new echo sonar inspired by dolphins.

The new invention is unique because it uses a new processing method that allows for better underwater visual imaging.

The new compact sonar takes into account the sparsity of objects in the water, which helps improve the interpretation of the echoes. This ability is supposed to mimic the current hypothesis about dolphin sonar which supposes the dolphins use pre-existing information about their environment in addition to the echoes to interpret those echoes better.

The new device is small, around 25cm/10 inches in diameter and about the size of a dolphin’s head, and emits sharp echolocation clicks similar to a dolphin. Due to its size and new processing ability, the new sonar has many new applications, from underwater ROVs to military applications.

According to Dr. Hari Vishnu, a Senior Research Fellow at NUS TMSI:

“Using prior information, such as the idea of sparsity, is intuitive. It is something humans do all the time – we turn our understanding of reality into expectations that can speed up our inferences and decisions. For example, in the absence of other information, the human brain and vision system tend to assume that in an image, the light on an object will be falling from above.”

You can find the original study here.

Sam Helmy
Sam Helmy
Sam Helmy is a TDI/SDI Instructor Trainer, and PADI Staff and Trimix Instructor. Diving for 28 years, a dive pro for 14, I have traveled extensively chasing my passion for diving. I am passionate about everything diving, with a keen interest in exploration, Sharks and big stuff, Photography and Decompression theory. Diving is definitely the one and only passion that has stayed with me my whole life! Sam is a Staff Writer for