What is a hydrophone ?

A hydrophone is a device used to pick up underwater sound and converts it into audio signals that can be translated to measurable data. This underwater microphone makes underwater study much easier, even in circumstances ruled out the use of scuba diving to explore. Created as a piezoelectric transducer, this device converts the underwater audio into signal that can be plotted.

A hydrophone works through electricity, the power of a hydrophone comes from the transducer that makes various types of sonar devices to work. A hydrophone can only function as a receiver and does not emit any signal when encountering any solid object unlike sonar devices.

Often, a hydrophone is encased in a protective material that will not interfere with its audio input reception. Normally, the casing is a tube-like material designed to be flexible and towable behind a survey ship. The casing and the hydrophone itself is supposed to function even if lowered at any depth.

The data collected by the hydrophone bounce back to the ship’s control panel. Software translates the data into images and graphs that can be easily studied. One use of hydrophone is to observe the incidence of echoes underwater that show presence of explosives. This helps survey ships to locate and deactivate landmines.

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