The that bounce off an object and

The deepest parts of the
ocean have no access to light. For this reason, odontoceti developed a new
technique of vision called echolocation. Echolocation consists of various
sounds emitted as brief bursts of impulses that bounce off an object and return
as an echo to provide the distance, size and position of the object. Bottlenose
Dolphins are one kind of odontoceti that uses echolocation. The ability to
echolocate help them navigate and communicate in the ocean. Submarine
technology has a system that adopted bottlenose dolphin’s echolocation for
navigation under the sea. With this in mind, it will be presented how the
echolocation of bottlenose dolphin works, how it applies to submarines and how
the overall technology of submarines works. After these are considered, it will
be clear that without the thorough knowledge provided by dolphin’s
echolocation, today’s submarine communication would not be possible.

 

Firstly,
it is necessary to analyze the echolocation of the bottlenose dolphin. It is
believed that dolphins did not always had the ability to echolocate.
Echolocation is said to be developed at some point during evolution. The wonder
of echolocation is primary the capacity of the dolphin to see under the ocean,
although, seeing is a relative term for echolocation. The bottlenose dolphin
does not really see the object or the animal in front of it, but knows exactly
the position, size, shape, texture, speed, density, distance and course of it. As
a result, the dolphin can navigate, locate prey, hunt, and protect itself from
predators. It is important to realize, that the bottlenose dolphin is not blind.
The dolphin can see above water and under water were the light is still
present. Echolocation is needed in the deepest parts of the ocean where light
is not available. The echolocation has a series of steps that will be discussed
now.

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For
starter, the dolphin explores. Exploring is a particular movement of the head
done by dolphins. After the dolphin explores, it emits a sound called click.
This clicks are directional and last about 50 to 128 microseconds. The peak
frequencies for this type of dolphin is 40 to 130 kHz. The click travels to the
dolphin’s melon, which consist of special fats called the acoustics lipids. The
melon is like an acoustical lens that focus the click into a beam, which is directed
to the target. Once, it reaches the target, it bounces back to the dolphin in
the form of an echo. The echo is received through the lower jaw bones, where it
is conducted to the middle ear, inner ear, and the auditory never, and finally
to the hearing centers in the brain. According to the Center of Conservation
and Research of Sea World Parks and Entertainment, “The brain receives the
sound waves in the form of nerve impulses, which relay the messages of sound
and enable the dolphin to interpret the sound’s meaning” (Sea World Parks and
Entertainment, 2017).

The
click produced by the dolphin must be long and loud enough to reach the object.
Likewise, the echo must be short and loud enough to reach the dolphin. The
information received by the echo can be interpreted in a series of three step. Firstly,
when the dolphins explores, it determines the course and orientation of the
objet. Secondly, the frequency of the sound gives the size, shape, density and
texture. Thirdly, the amplitude of the sound and the time elapsed between the
emission and the received echo shows the distance and speed. The sound
frequency of the clicks range from 2,000 to 10,000Hz. These frequencies cover
the areas of infrasonic and ultrasonic frequencies that the human ear cannot
perceive. All of these details about the bottlenose dolphin were taken in to
account when developing the submarine. Proximately, the submarine technology
will be discussed.

The
understanding of bottlenose dolphin’s echolocation permitted the development of
the SONAR system. The SONAR system is an artificial complex of echolocation. This
system is used under water. When it is on the surface, the submarine uses the GPS
(Global Positioning System) for navigation. However, GPS does not work under
water. Submarines use the SONAR (sound, navigation and ranging) system as a
mean of navigation in the depths of the ocean. The SONAR system is composed of
the active sonar and the passive sonar. The active sonar, as the name suggest,
is the active part of the SONAR system. It sends out pulses of sound waves that
travel through the water and hit the target. Then, the sound is reflected off
the target as an echo. The echo reaches the submarine where it is interpreted. The
passive sonar is in charge of the interpretation. Once, it is know the time that
took the sound wave to reach the target and come back, the computers calculate
the distance between the submarine and the target. This calculous is done by
comparing the information received as an echo and the speed of sound in water. Now
that the submarine technology has been displayed, it will be compare the
echolocation of the bottlenose dolphin and the submarine.

As
it is seen, the active sonar of submarines does the same function as the melon
and mouth of the dolphin. It emits the sound waves and receives the echo’s
information. On the other hand, the passive sonar functions as the lower jaw
bones, middle ear, inner ear, the auditory never and hearing centers in the
brain of dolphins. This part of the submarine translate the information
received as an echo, and thereby, the submarine knows what it is in front of
it. The similitudes between these two are undeniable. The SONAR system’s
attempt to imitate the behavior of dolphins and has been successful. This
achievement has demonstrated that without the thorough knowledge of dolphin’s
echolocation, submarine’s technology would not be possible. 

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