Mike Buckingham’s team deployed the Fly-By array at two sites, one shallow (15 m) and one deep (100 m), during the Makai experiment (10/21/05 to 10/28/05). The array was deployed from a small boat chartered from a local dive shop. A Maule MXT7-180 STOL aircraft, chartered from Air Ventures Hawaii, was used to overfly the array. To make the upper unit more visible from the air, a helium balloon, flying about 10 m above the sea surface, was attached to the upper unit.

Most of the acoustic data were collected at the shallow site, with the array lying horizontally on the coral-sand sea bed. The array was also deployed vertically at both sites. In both configurations, ambient noise data were collected, up to 5 kHz (shallow) and 50 kHz (deep). The primary recordings, however, were of the aircraft as it flew directly over the sensor station. Typically, during each sortie, the aircraft made a dozen passes over the array.

During the deployments, the weather was mostly calm, allowing intensive data collection over a period of four days. High quality Doppler data from the aircraft were obtained. The Fly-By array performed reliably, despite being hauled in and out of the water a number of times. All the deployments went smoothly and the experiment was completed successfully within the allocated time.

Principle Investigator Michael Buckingham
Chief Engineer F. Simonet
Graduate Student Paul Roberts
Graduate Student David Barclay