Experiments were performed to determine the noise characteristics of a hydrophone streamer that had incorporated a number of noise reduction features. In the original system, the channels to which the depth-controller birds were attached were 3 to 4 times noisier than nonbird channels. Fortunately, the bird noise is near-field and is eliminated simply by increasing bird/hydrophone separation to 9 ft. On this cable, no other discrete noise sources are evident. The boat, propulsion system, lead-in cable, tail buoy, and ambient sea conditions (moderate seas) do not generate significant noise at towing speeds above 5 knots.The noise on individual hydrophones not near birds is mainly random with only a small coherent component traveling horizontally through the water from the direction of the boat. However, since the 145-ft hydrophone arrays of 20 detectors are much more effective in reducing random noise than coherent noise, the array output consists of approximately equal portions of each. A twofold decrease in the total noise-to-signal ratio would result from doubling the array length (to 290 ft) while maintaining the same hydrophone density. This would result in a four to fivefold decrease in the coherent noise-to-signal ratio and a 30 percent decrease in the random noise-to-signal ratio. Additional noise reduction would result from increasing the hydrophone density and decreasing the motion sensitivity of the hydrophones. (The streamer hydrophones are not the motion canceling type).At a towing speed of 5.3 knots, the noise level recorded on an array (not near a bird) is equivalent to pressures of 1 mu bar. In normal operations with an 8-gun sleeve exploder source, a stacked section signal-to-towing noise ratio of 3 was obtained at 3.0 sec. However, the towing noise increases as the cube of the boat speed, and the S/N ratio would decrease by a factor of 11 if the boat speed were doubled. Conversely, decreasing the boat speed by 18 percent would double the signal-to-towing noise ratio.

This content is PDF only. Please click on the PDF icon to access.

First Page Preview

First page PDF preview
You do not currently have access to this article.